Philippines earthquake: 6.9 magnitude quake shakes tourist island hotspot

A large earthquake rocked the Mindanao region of the southern Philippines on Friday, the German Research Center for Geosciences (GFZ) and the United States Geological Society (USGS) said.

The GFZ put the magnitude of the quake at 6.9 while the USGS said it was a 6.7 magnitude earthquake. Other estimates have said the quake registered as high as 7.2 on the Richter Scale. 

The quake had a depth of 6 miles, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.

No tsunami was expected, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre, although damage has been reported and aftershocks were possible. 

The tremor occurred about 16 miles (26km) off Burias at the southern tip of the Philippines, according to the USGS.  

READ MORE: Illinois rocked by 3.6 magnitude earthquake in early hours, USGS says

A Reuters report said there were no reports of immediate casualties but the locals said that the earthquake had damaged walls and knocked computers off desks in General Santos City in South Cotabato.

Radio announcer Leny Aranego told DZRH radio station: “We saw how the walls cracked and computers fell.”

Passengers at the airport in General Santos City were reportedly evacuated from the airport to the tarmac due to the quake.

The Philippines lies on the Ring of Fire, an area surrounding the Pacific Ocean that is especially prone to earthquakes. 

The Ring is about 25,000 miles long and 310 miles wide. It contains two-thirds of the world’s active volcanoes and 90 percent of the world’s earthquakes. 

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