Philippines earthquake: Strong tremor felt in Metro Manila

PUBLISHED Thu, May 25, 2017 - 10:38am EDT
Credit: Google

A strongly-felt earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.5 has struck the island of Luzon in the Philippines, with shaking felt as far away as Metro Manila and Tarlac City, officials say. No tsunami warnings have been issued. (more)

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The earthquake, which struck just before 10:27 p.m. on Thursday, was centered 18 kilometers northwest of Olongapo, or about 50 kilometers southwest of San Fernando and Angeles. It struck at a depth of 78 kilometers, making it a rather deep earthquake.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology put the preliminary magnitude of Thursday's quake at 5.5. It said no serious damage was to be expected and there is no threat of a tsunami. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

"Pretty quick but strong. As if someone was giving me a gentle nudge," a resident in Quezon City told EMSC. In Angeles, a resident said: "I was watching a scary movie and I thought the ghost was shaking my bed. Scared the hell out of me."

The Philippines is on the so-called 'Pacific Ring of Fire', an arc of fault lines circling the Pacific Basin which is prone to frequent and large earthquakes. Volcanic eruptions also occur frequently in the region.

A powerful 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck the province of Bohol in October 2013, killing at least 222 people and injuring nearly 1,000 others. A year earlier, a 6.7-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Negros Oriental, killing at least 51 people.

Other earthquakes in recent history in the Philippines include a powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake which struck the densely populated island of Luzon in July 1990, killing at least 2,412 people and injuring thousands more. It was one of the most deadly earthquakes in the Philippines in recent history.

Only more deadly was an 8.1-magnitude earthquake in August 1976 which shook Mindanao island and had its epicenter in the Moro Gulf. It generated a destructive tsunami in the Celebes Sea, causing devastation in settlements along the coast of the Moro Gulf on Mindanao island and on the nearby Sulu Islands.

The earthquake in August 1976 was felt on all of the central islands of the Philippines Archipelago and in the southern part of Luzon. As a result of the earthquake and tsunami, more than 8,000 people were killed or left missing, 10,000 were injured, and 90,000 were left homeless.






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