Monday, February 6, 2012

News: Magnitude 6.8 Earthquake in the Visayas region, Philippines

6.8 earthquake shakes central Philippines

A 6.8-magnitude earthquake has struck the central Philippines, killing a child and triggering a local tsunami alert.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology issued the tsunami alert for the central Philippines on Monday, saying the quake could trigger a one-metre wave. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not issue a warning.
The US Geological Survey said the quake was centred 72km north of Dumaguete city on Negros Island in the central Philippines. It hit at a depth of 46km.
People rushed out of schools, malls and offices during the quake. Officials in some areas suspended work.
A child died when a concrete fence of a house collapsed in Taysan town in Negros Oriental province, said civil defence head Benito Ramos.
A mall in San Carlos city in neighbouring Negros Occidental province, also on Negros Island, was damaged when its windows were shattered by the shaking, he said.
The quake was also felt in central Cebu city, the country's second largest, where it lasted about 30 seconds.
The Philippines is in the Pacific "Ring of Fire" where earthquakes and volcanic activity are common. A 7.7-magnitude quake killed nearly 2,000 people in Luzon in 1990.

USGS: 6.8 quake strikes off coast of Philippines' 3rd-largest island

A 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck Monday off the coast of the third-largest island in the Philippines, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

The quake struck about 11:49 a.m. (10:49 p.m. Sunday ET) about 70 kilometers (44 miles) from the coastal city of Dumaguete on the Philippine island of Negros, the USGS said.

No tsunami warning has been issued and there is no tsunami threat to Hawaii, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said. The earthquake occurred in the ocean at a depth of 46.6 kilometers (29 miles), according to the USGS.

There were no widespread reports of damage.

At the Circle Inn Hotel in the provincial capital of Bacolod, a receptionist said the quake lasted between three and five minutes.

"We felt the shaking," the receptionist said. "The guests all exited the building. But all the people here are okay."

There was no damage to the hotel, the receptionist said.

Magnitude 6.8 earthquake strikes off Philippines - USGS

One child died and a local tsunami alert was issued after a magnitude 6.7 earthquake followed by two aftershocks struck off the Philippines island of Negros on Monday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and a local monitoring service.

The Philippines Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said it warned residents along coastal areas to be on the watch for unusual waves as it raised a tsunami alert at level 2.

No evacuation was ordered yet.

The institute also warned structurally weak buildings may sustain damages. The U.S. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said that based on all available data a Pacific-wide tsunami is not expected.

The quake, with depth of about 10 kms (6.2 miles), according to the institute, and centered just 5 kms off the shore of Tayasan, Negros Oriental, was felt at intensity 7 in Dumaguete City and intensity 6 in Bacolod City, according to the institute.

The USGS put the quake at 6.7 in magnitude and a depth of 12.4 miles (19.8 kms).

Two aftershocks, of 4.8 and 5.6 magnitude on the USGS scale, followed within 30 minutes of the earthquake.

"Damage is possible in areas hit by at least intensity 5 and if the buildings are structurally weak," Renato Solidum, head of the volcanology and seismology institute said in a radio interview.

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