Strong quake shakes Philippines, no casualties

A strong earthquake rattled the southern Philippine island of Mindanao early Saturday, but there were no reports of any injuries or damage and no tsunami warnings were issued.

The quake, which hit at 2.17 am, had a magnitude of 6.4, according to the US Geological Survey. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology measured the magnitude at 6.5.

The institute said the quake's epicentre was 20 kilometres (12 miles) northeast of southern Tandag city, and 832 kilometres (517 miles) southeast of Manila, the capital. It hit at a depth of 78 kilometres (48 miles).

"There was no damage, no casualties,'' Civil Defence chief Benito Ramos said hours after the temblor hit. "The earthquake was strong, but its source was deep and far.''

The institute recorded several aftershocks, but Ramos said they were hardly felt in the area. He said no tsunami warnings were issued.

The Philippine archipelago is located in the Pacific "Ring of Fire,'' where earthquakes and volcanic activity are common. A magnitude-7.7 quake killed nearly 2,000 people on the northern island of Luzon in 1990.

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