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Shallow earthquake of 6.2 magnitude strikes a remote Philippine island; tsunami warning issued

A remote island in the Philippines was struck by a shallow earthquake measuring 6.2 magnitude on Tuesday, prompting a tsunami warning and evacuation order for coastal residents. The earthquake occurred around 9 pm and was centered approximately 120 kilometers from Catanduanes Island, according to the US Geological Survey.

Shallow earthquakes can often cause more damage compared to deeper ones, but so far there have been no reports of destruction or casualties resulting from this earthquake.

The local seismological agency reported that the quake caused a ‘minor sea-level disturbance’, resulting in a tsunami warning for waves of less than a meter above normal tide levels, which were expected to reach Catanduanes and Samar islands. The agency also warned that these waves could persist for several hours.

As a precautionary measure, local disaster officers directed people living near the sea to evacuate to higher ground, as confirmed by Luis Surtida, the provincial disaster officer of Catanduanes. However, no evacuation order was issued for Samar Island, according to authorities.

Catanduanes Island, which is known for its agriculture, is often affected by typhoons due to its location. Prince Obo, a disaster officer in Gigmoto municipality, stated that the earthquake was not strong enough to cause damage, although he observed his action figures moving in his cabinet without falling during the quake.

Police Corporal Rodin Balcueva described the earthquake as ‘quite strong’ in Pandan municipality, located on the northern tip of Catanduanes, and mentioned taking shelter beneath tables during the event.

Earthquakes are common in the Philippines as the country is situated along the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’, a region known for its frequent seismic and volcanic activity spanning from Japan through Southeast Asia and across the Pacific basin. Overall, while the earthquake prompted a tsunami warning and evacuation order, there have been no reports of significant damage or casualties as a result of this event.


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