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Magnitude 5.6 Quake Jolts Coast of Eastern Samar

Magnitude 5.6 quake hits Eastern Samar

A strong earthquake struck the coastal province of Eastern Samar in the Philippines on Thursday afternoon, according to seismologists. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) reported that a 5.6 magnitude temblor hit at 2:50 pm local time, with the epicenter located about 76 kilometers north of the town of Hernani.

Several towns in Eastern Samar felt strong to moderate shaking, with Phivolcs measuring Intensity V shaking in Hernani and Llorente. Nearby municipalities like Gen. MacArthur and Balangkayan experienced Intensity IV shaking. The provincial capital of Borongan as well as other coastal communities also felt significant shaking.

The earthquake was felt as far west as Tacloban City on neighboring Leyte Island, with residents reporting light shaking. Tremors were also noticeable in inland towns in Leyte and across Samar Island to the north.

While no damage has been reported so far, the area is no stranger to seismic activity. Eastern Samar sits along the Philippine Trench, where the Philippine Sea Plate meets and subducts under the Eurasian Plate. This tectonic setting has made the region prone to occasional earthquakes. Phivolcs warned locals to be vigilant for potential aftershocks in the coming days or weeks as the fault adjusts from the main quake.

Thursday’s earthquake serves as a reminder of the earthquake risk facing communities throughout the Philippine archipelago. Many areas still have infrastructure that could be vulnerable in a strong quake. Further inspections will now assess if any effects occurred from this latest seismic event.