Strong quake strikes eastern Philippines, reports of damage

August 18, 2020 - 12:08 PM
1121
People are seen in a damaged building surrounded by debris in Masbate Province, after an earthquake struck the Philippines, August 18, 2020. (Philippine Red Cros Masbate/ Handout via Reuters)

MANILA — A magnitude 6.6 earthquake struck the Samar region of the eastern Philippines on Tuesday, the European Mediterranean Seismological Center (EMSC) said, damaging some homes and property in a coastal community.

The Philippines‘ seismology agency said there was no risk of a tsunami from the earthquake but warned of the risk of aftershocks.

“The possibility of a stronger magnitude aftershock cannot be discounted,” agency chief Renato Solidum told dZMM radio station.

The quake struck in the sea at a depth of 30 km (18.64 miles), EMSC said.

There were no immediate reports of casualties, but Rodrigo Gonhuran, 30, a computer shop technician based near the epicentre, told Reuters it was the strongest quake he had felt in the area.

“My cabinet and other stuff at home fell down and my neighbours’ walls cracked and some collapsed,” he said, speaking from the town of Cataingan, which has a population of more than 50,000 people.

The Philippines, which has a population of 107 million, lies on the “Ring of Fire,” a belt of volcanoes circling the Pacific Ocean that is also prone to earthquakes. —Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru and Neil Jerome Morales in Manila; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Ed Davies