Buildings evacuated as quake jolts Philippine capital

Buildings evacuated as quake jolts Philippine capital

WORKERS, residents, and students evacuated buildings in the Philippine capital Manila on Tuesday after a magnitude 5.7 earthquake struck off the main Luzon island, according to the United States Geological Survey and images carried by media.

There were no immediate reports of casualties and the local seismology agency said on X, formerly Twitter, that it did not expect damage, but warned of aftershocks.

It recorded the offshore earthquake at magnitude 5.9, with a depth of 79 kilometers. Its epicenter was about 130 km from the capital region.

“We felt the strong and lengthy tremor,” Michael Orayani, mayor of Lubang town in Occidental Mindoro province, told DWPM radio. “We rushed outdoors even while the building was shaking.”

Images shared by media on X showed government workers leaving the House of Representatives, Senate, presidential palace and Justice department buildings. Students also evacuated university classrooms.

The Transportation department stopped train operations in the capital. No damage was observed on the runway and taxiway pavements and terminal facilities, the state airport operator said.

The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre earlier recorded the quake at magnitude 6.2 before downgrading it to 6.

The Philippines lies in the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, a belt of volcanoes around the Pacific Ocean where most of the world’s earthquakes strike. It also lies along the typhoon belt in the Pacific and experiences about 20 storms each year.

Three people died from a magnitude 7.6 earthquake that struck southern Philippines on Saturday night. It was followed by more than 2,000 aftershocks that prompted thousands to stay in evacuation centers.

A separate magnitude 6.9 earthquake struck Mindanao early Monday morning. — Reuters