Island of Mindanao shaken by magnitude six earthquake

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The location of today’s quake off the coast of Mindanao. Although powerful, no casualties or substantial damage have been reported. Image via the United States Geological Survey.

A magnitude six earthquake shook a number of areas across the island of Mindanao today (Thursday, April 5).

The quake struck 42 kilometres off Tarragona town in Davao Oriental at 11.53am, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has announced.

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Intensity IV was recorded in the towns of Tarragona, Lupon, Manay and Mati City in Davao Oriental.

Phivolcs says that an Intensity IV quake is considered “moderately strong” with a vibration that is “felt like a passing of heavy truck” and causes hanging objects to swing considerably.

A “weak” Intensity III was recorded in Davao, Cagayan de Oro and General Santos cities.

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The earthquake was at Intensity II in Bislig City, Surigao City, Alabel, Malapatan and Hinatuan, Phivolcs said.

Instrumental intensities — those that would not necessarily be felt by residents — were recorded in General Santos City, Koronadal City, Alabel, Sarangani, Bislig City and Kidapawan City.

Phivolcs said the quake was tectonic, with a depth of 27 kilometres, and has warned of possible aftershocks.

There have been no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

According to the United States Geological Survey, the quake was initially logged at magnitude 6.2, which was later downgraded to 5.9.

The quake comes after several earthquakes along a New Zealand fault-line prompted fears of a ‘mega-thrust’ quake and devastating tsunamis.

The Philippines are a part of the Ring of Fire, also called the Circum-Pacific belt, where about 90 per cent of the world’s earthquakes occur.

Between 1990 and 2016, Scientists in California have analysed 101 major earthquakes around the Pacific Ring of Fire.

Today alone, Phivolcs has recorded ten other minor earthquakes in the Philippines.

Please check back later for updates on this developing story…

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