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Philippines: Strong earthquake hits off Mindanao

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The epicenter (Credit: Google)

A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.2 has struck off Mindanao island in the southern Philippines, seismologists and residents say. There were no immediate reports of serious damage or injuries.

The earthquake, which struck at 6:12 p.m. on Friday, was centered in the Philippine Sea off Governor Generoso, or 146 kilometers (90 miles) southeast of Davao City and 73 kilometers (45 miles) southeast of Mati.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said the quake measured 6.2 and struck at a depth of 76 kilometers (47 miles), which is relatively deep. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) put the magnitude at 6.1.

There is no threat of a tsunami.

The Philippines is on the so-called ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’, an arc of fault lines circling the Pacific Basin which are 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 7.8-magnitude earthquake that 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.

The deadliest earthquake in the country’s history was in August 1976, when an 8.1-magnitude earthquake struck the Moro Gulf, generating a tsunami that devastated Mindanao island and the nearby Sulu Islands, killing up to 8,000 people and injuring many more.

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