Authorities said some people were inside the building, which housed a grocery market, and a rescue effort was underway.
The horrific natural disaster saw buildings shake in Davao City, according to social media.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said the 6.9-magnitude quake struck an area about 6km northwest of Padada town in Davao del Sur province. "Do we respond first or attend to our families first?"
Officials in the southern cities of Davao and Cotabato, where the quake was felt strongly, suspended classes for Monday to allow checks on the stability of school buildings. She said her auto was swaying.
The Philippines has been hit by several very powerful earthquakes in recent decades, including one of magnitude 7.8 that struck the northern resort town of Baguio in 1990.
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Winds will stay light in most areas but it will become windy in the southwest with westerly gales possibly along the coast later. Showers will develop in the southwest later in the morning and these will gradually spread eastwards during the afternoon.
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Radio DZMM reported power was out in General Santos City, where patients at a local hospital were being evacuated.
Video footage posted on Twitter by users to portray the impact of the quake showed overhead electrical wires swaying and erupting in a shower of sparks.
In Brgy. Asinan in Matanao town, a girl identified as Cherbelchen Imgador, was killed after their house collapsed during the quake, the Davao del Sur Public Information Office said.
The Philippines sits on the geologically active Pacific "Ring of Fire" and experiences frequent tremors. He added that a three-story building had also collapsed. Another video showed water sloshing out of a residential swimming pool.