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Magnitude 6.2 Earthquake Strikes Philippines

People gather outside a hospital building in Manila on June 15, 2023, following a magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck the Philippines. (Photo by JAM STA ROSA / AFP)
People gather outside a hospital building in Manila on June 15, 2023, following a magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck the Philippines. (Photo by JAM STA ROSA / AFP)

 

The US Geological Survey reported a magnitude 6.2 earthquake in the Philippines on Thursday, although there were no immediate indications of damage.

At roughly 10:00 a.m. (0200 GMT), the earthquake occurred at a depth of 112 kilometers (77 miles) in waters near Calatagan town, some three hours’ drive from the capital Manila.

Calatagan police chief Emil Mendoza said he and his officers ran outdoors after the tremor, which was felt throughout the country’s densely populated core, including Manila.

“It was a bit strong. We had to run outside,” Mendoza told AFP.

While there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage, disaster authorities had  been deployed to assess the earthquake’s impact, Mendoza said.

Calatagan disaster officer Ronald Torres said the quake lasted between 30 seconds and a minute.

The state seismological agency warned of aftershocks but ruled out tsunami waves due to the tremor’s depth.

The earthquake sent people rushing out of buildings in the capital.

Runways and taxiways at Ninoy Aquino International Airport were temporarily closed to inspect for any damage to the pavement, according to the country’s transportation department.

Operation of the capital’s metro system was also halted while tracks were checked for possible damage.

Images on social media verified by AFP showed a crane truck at a Manila port as it swayed from the force of the tremor.

Diego Mariano, information officer at the civil defence office, said authorities were still assessing the impact of the quake.

“As of now, no major damage or casualties as of reporting time. Assessment still ongoing,” Mariano told reporters in a message.

In the Philippines, which sits along the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of strong seismic and volcanic activity that spans from Japan to Southeast Asia and across the Pacific basin, earthquakes occur on a daily basis.

A magnitude 7.1 earthquake rocked Bohol Island in the central Philippines in October 2013, causing landslides and killing over 200 people.

Old churches in the Philippines, the birthplace of Catholicism, were severely damaged.The quake displaced about 400,000 people and damaged tens of thousands of homes.

A magnitude 7.8 earthquake in the northern Philippines in 1990 caused a hundred-kilometer-long ground rupture, causing significant damage and killing over 1,200 people.

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