Philippines hit by undersea earthquake of up to 7.2 magnitude


A powerful undersea earthquake of up to 7.2 magnitude has struck the Philippines.

The tremor, which lasted several seconds, occurred around 16 miles (26km) off Burias at the southern tip of the archipelago, the US Geological Survey said.

Scientists said no tsunami was expected, but residents were advised to be on alert for aftershocks and damage.

There were no immediate reports of casualties.

Radio announcer Leny Aranego, of General Santos city in South Cotabato, said the strong earthquake cracked walls and toppled some computers from desks.

Passengers at an airport in the city were evacuated to the tarmac.

Footage on social media appeared to show some buildings being evacuated – as well as cracks forming on some roads.

The power of the quake was put at between 6.7 and 7.2 magnitude by researchers.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said it happened at a depth of six miles (10km).

The Philippines lies on the “Ring of Fire”, a belt of volcanoes circling the Pacific Ocean that is prone to earthquakes.

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