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Moderate earthquake hits off the Philippines, felt in Manila

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The epicenter of Sunday's earthquake (Credit: Google)

A moderate earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.5 has struck off Luzon island in the northern Philippines, with shaking felt as far away as Manila and Quezon City, seismologists and residents say.

The earthquake, which struck at 3:18 a.m. local time on Sunday, was centered in the sea, about 31 kilometers (20 miles) northeast of Lubang Island, or 89 km (55 mi) west of Calamba and 65 km (41 mi) southwest of Balanga.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said the quake measured 5.5 and struck at a depth of 85 kilometers (53 miles), which is relatively deep. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) put the magnitude slightly lower, at 5.3.

There is no threat of a tsunami but aftershocks are likely, according to PHIVOLCS.

Shaking from the earthquake was felt across the region, including in Manila and Quezon City, where some said the tremors were strong enough to wake them. There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

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.

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