In my opinion it's unlikely to be a problem with the engine itself, the cowling was damaged before the first fan and none of the fan blades appear to be damaged. It's more likely to be a problem with the cowl itself.
Avherald posted the following quotes from EASA ADs which may be related to the incident. Furthermore, similar incidents have happened in the past including an EgyptAir A330 earlier in the year
AD 2011-0173R1 reasons: "Two operators of A330 aeroplanes fitted with Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines reported finding extensive damage to engine air intake cowls as a result of acoustic panel collapse, most probably caused by panel disbonding. This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to the detachment of the engine air intake cowl from the engine, possibly resulting in ingestion of parts by, and consequence damage to, the engine, or injury to persons on the ground."
AD 2016-0086R1 reasons: "During shop visit, cracks were found in several primary structural parts of Rolls Royce (RR) Trent 700 engine air intake cowls, specifically in the forward bulkhead web, web stiffeners and outer boundary angles (OBA). In addition, several attachment links were found severely worn, and some became detached. In two cases, the thermal anti- ice (TAI) piccolo tube was found fractured. Investigation results show that the cracks are most likely due to acoustic excitation and vibration. A broken piccolo tube, if not detected and corrected, in conjunction with forward air intake cowl bulkhead damage, could lead to in-flight detachment of the outer barrel, possibly resulting in damage to the engine or reduced control of the aeroplane."
I was about to post that fan blades don't seem to be involved in this engine event, but jkkw was much quicker.
In the link provided by the opening post, I noticed a surprising comment from 'Aviation expert Byron Bailey, a former Boeing 777 pilot.'
"The interesting common denominator of the China Airlines A330, Egypt Air A330 one month ago in Cairo, and the magnificently handled Qantas A380 engine blow-up in Singapore years ago appears to be the very efficient Trent 700 engine,” said Mr Bailey.
I thought the airline was China Eastern, and I did not know that QF A380s were fitted with Trent 700 engines ...