- Strong tremors were felt in offices, shopping centers and airports
- There are no immediate reports of injuries. Authorities warn of damage
- The Philippines is located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, which is prone to earthquakes
MANILA (Reuters) – A 6.7-magnitude earthquake shook the Mindanao region in the southern Philippines on Friday, the German Research Center for Geosciences said. There were no immediate reports of casualties, but authorities warned of damage.
GFZ said that the earthquake occurred off the coast of Mindanao near General Santos City, at a depth of 60 kilometers. The German agency reported earlier that the magnitude of the earthquake reached 6.9.
The Philippine Seismological Agency PHIVOLCS and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said a tsunami was not expected.
Amor Myo, police chief of the city of Koronadal, near the epicenter of the quake, said that there were no reports of casualties, but officials were inspecting a shopping center that was reported to have been damaged.
“Employees have been ordered to evacuate for their safety. According to police in the area, there has been serious damage, but we have not yet been able to confirm its extent,” Meo said by phone.
The intensity of the quake was “devastating, so we expect damage,” PHIVOLCS director Teresito Paculcol told DZRH radio.
He added that the earthquake lasted several seconds, and he advised residents to be careful in anticipation of aftershocks measuring 6.2 degrees.
Radio broadcaster Lenny Aranjo in General Santos City said the quake damaged walls and toppled computers from offices.
“We saw how the walls cracked and the computers fell,” Aranjo told DZRH radio station.
Passengers at General Santos City Airport were evacuated to the runway, Michael Ricafort, an economist at RCBC Bank, said in a Facebook post.
Earthquakes are common in the Philippines, which is located on the “Ring of Fire,” a belt of volcanoes surrounding the Pacific Ocean that is prone to seismic activity.
(Reporting by Shubhendu Deshmukh in Bengaluru – Prepared by Mohammed for the Arabic Bulletin) and Neil Jerome Morales and Mikhail Flores in Manila; Edited by Kanupriya Kapoor
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