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Powerful 6.7 Quake Jolts Southern Philippines

Powerful 6.7 Quake Jolts Southern Philippines

MANILA – A powerful earthquake struck the southern Philippines on Tuesday evening, prompting school evacuations and causing people to rush outdoors for safety, but there were no immediate reports of major damage or injuries.

The 6.7 magnitude quake hit about 368 kilometers (229 miles) southeast of Balut Island in the province of Davao Occidental at a depth of 10 kilometers (6 miles), according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.

While the offshore quake triggered frightened reactions from residents across the region, there were no reports so far of collapsed buildings or other major damage. Phivolcs said it was not expecting significant impacts from the temblor based on its location and depth.

“It was felt strongly. Some of our humble residences made from light materials were shaken,” said Gerry Salapan, a disaster officer in Malungon town in Sarangani province, where the quake registered at intensity II.

In the coastal cities of Alabel, Glan and Kiamba in Sarangani, along with Don Marcelino in Davao Occidental and Digos City in Davao del Sur, residents also reported feeling the ground shake at intensity I.

Schools in those areas temporarily evacuated students as a precautionary measure. Frightened workers and residents in multiple cities and towns poured out of homes and buildings during the quake out of fear they could be trapped if they collapsed.

The Philippines, which lies along the Pacific “Ring of Fire” zone of seismic faults and active volcanoes, experiences frequent earthquakes. One of the deadliest struck the central island of Leyte in July 2017, killing at least 10 people and injuring nearly 200 others.

While Tuesday’s quake was powerful, its strike offshore helped prevent more widespread impacts. Phivolcs cautioned that aftershocks are possible in the coming days or weeks.