A strong earthquake shook the Philippines on Saturday, the US Geological Survey reported, but it was deep, and local authorities said they did not expect damage.
The 6.6-magnitude quake struck off the main island of Luzon at 4:48 am (2048 GMT) at a depth of 112 kilometers, USGS said.
It was followed a few minutes later with a 5.8-magnitude quake in the same region that was also deep.
“It’s very strong. We were alarmed,” said police Major Ronnie Aurellano in Calatagan municipality, Batangas province, which is south of Manila and near the epicentre of the quakes.
“It’s raining very hard here as well, but our people here are used to earthquakes. They’re aware of the duck, hold and cover when there’s an earthquake. We’re checking low-lying areas in case there’s a tsunami,” he added.
The Philippine seismological agency said it did not expect damage. And there was no tsunami warning or threat, according to the US Tsunami Warning System.
“It’s not as strong compared to the previous quakes here—there’s no damage reported to us,” said police Cpl. Bernie Faderogao in nearby Mabini.
“Our sliding door was just slightly shaken but it didn’t break,” he said.
Aftershocks continued to shake the municipality of Calatagan in Batangas, with the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology recording at least 24 aftershocks, with the strongest at magnitude 5.5, which immediately followed the first intense tremor.
The Department of Public Works and Highways has deployed teams to assess infrastructures in three regions – Metro Manila, Calabarzon, and Mimaropa – to evaluate the structural integrity and damage caused by the earthquake to key infrastructure.
The DPWH said all national roads and bridges in the NCR, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, and Mimaropa are passable to all types of vehicles.
“We are also monitoring if Taal Volcano will react following the earthquake,” Batangas Vice Governor Mark Leviste.
Taal Volcano is under Alert Level 2, but it showed “eruptive activity” a few days earlier.
The Philippines is regularly rocked by quakes due to its location on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, an arc of intense seismic activity that stretches from Japan through Southeast Asia and across the Pacific basin. With AFP
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