Strong earthquake jolts Mindanao, southern Philippines

4.23 am quake panics locals and damages buildings; tsunami alert issued but lifted less than 2 hours later

Strong earthquake jolts Mindanao, southern Philippines

World Bulletin / News Desk

A strong 7.2 magnitude earthquake jolted the southern Phillippines early Saturday morning, damaging several buildings, officials said.

The quake struck 53 kilometers southwest of Sarangani in Davao Occidental on the island of Mindanao at 4:23 a.m. (2023GMT Friday) at a depth of 57 kilometers (35 miles), according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS).

The institute said the quake was felt in General Santos City and Koronadal, Balot Island in Davao Occidental; Polomolok and Tupi in South Cotabato; Alabel, Malapatan and Glan in Sarangani; and Palembang in Sultan Kudarat.

The quake coincided with a 7.2 temblor some 1,022 km (635 miles) south, in Indonesia's Molucca Sea, with no casualties or damage reported.

The Philippines quake woke up panicked locals in Sarangani who fled the coast following a tsunami warning. It damaged several buildings, including the mayor's office, in General Santos City. A glass door shattered, and tiles fell as a large crack appeared in the building's walls.

MindaNews reported that tsunami bulletin was issued at 5:03 a.m. to warn coastal residents to watch for sea level disturbances such as strong currents and the rapid rise and fall of seawater.

"Based on tsunami wave models and early tide gauge records of the tsunami in the Philippine Sea, coastal areas in Philippine provinces fronting the Celebes Sea are expected to experience wave heights of less than one meter above normal tide levels,” the report said.

But the tsunami alert was lifted less than two hours later.

The Philippines lies along the Pacific Ring of Fire, which causes the country to have frequent seismic and volcanic activity.

The most recent high-casualty earthquake to hit the country had a magnitude of 7.2 and left 222 people dead and 976 injured in 2013 in the central Visayas islands, where it destroyed 73,000 structures.

In 1976, a magnitude-7.9 earthquake off the southern Zamboanga Peninsula left up to 8,000 people dead or missing, after a disastrous tsunami, affecting 700 kilometers of coastline bordering the Moro Gulf.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 29 Nisan 2017, 14:23