6.9 magnitude quake shakes southern Philippines, tsunami threat possible
A 6.9-magnitude earthquake struck off the southern Philippine island of Mindanao today, said US Geological Survey (USGS), adding that a tsunami threat was possible for parts of the Philippines and neighboring Indonesia. The quake struck southeast of Davao City at a depth of 59 kilometers (35 miles), said the monitor, while the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center warned about "hazardous tsunami waves from this earthquake".
Tsunami waves are possible along the coasts of Indonesia and the Philippines, added the Center. However tsunami waves were forecast to be less than 30 cm high, it added. The Philippines' government seismology office said cities in the south of the country felt "moderately strong" shaking. The provincial civil defense office said it had no immediate reports of damage or casualties from the quake.
According to the USGS, there was a low likelihood of casualties and damage, although it warned recent earthquakes in the area had caused landslides. The Philippines and Indonesia lie on the so-called Ring of Fire, a vast Pacific Ocean region where many earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur. The most recent one was in 2013 when a 7.1-magnitude quake left more than 220 people dead.
The 2013 earthquake had also destroyed historic churches in the Philippines. Indonesia has been hit by two major tsunamis this year. More than 400 people were killed last weekend, after an erupting volcano triggered a deadly wave that struck the coastlines of western Java-island and south Sumatra. A September quake-tsunami killed around 2,200 people in Sulawesi island, with thousands more missing and presumed dead.