Philippines earthquake of 5.9-magnitude shakes capital Manila

Quake struck off the country's Luzon island a depth of 79km

Students evacuate following an earthquake in Manila, Philippines, on Tuesday. Reuters
Powered by automated translation

Manila was shaken by an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.9 on Tuesday, with many people evacuating buildings in the Philippines capital.

The quake struck off the main Luzon island, the state seismology agency said. No casualties were immediately reported.

The seismology agency said on social media platform X, formerly Twitter, that it did not expect damage, but warned of aftershocks.

It recorded the offshore earthquake at a depth of 79km, with the epicentre about 130km from the capital region.

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

Images shared by media on X showed government workers leaving Congress, Senate, the Presidential Palace and Justice Ministry buildings. Students also evacuated universities.

The transport ministry stopped train operations in the capital. At the airport, no damage was observed on the runway, taxiway pavements and terminal infrastructure, the state operator said.

The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre had earlier recorded the quake as having a magnitude of 6.2 before downgrading it to 6.0.

Earthquakes are common in the Philippines, which lies on the “Ring of Fire”, a belt of volcanoes circling the Pacific Ocean that is prone to seismic activity.

Three people died from a 7.4-magnitude earthquake that struck the southern Philippines on Saturday night. It was followed by more than 2,000 aftershocks that prompted thousands to stay in evacuation centres.

A separate quake with a magnitude of 6.8 struck Mindanao early on Monday morning.

Updated: December 05, 2023, 11:52 AM