MANILA: A strong earthquake jolted the southern Philippines on Saturday, prompting authorities to warn against a “destructive tsunami with life threatening wave heights”.
There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties from the tremour, which had a magnitude of 6.9, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs.) The US Geological Service measured the magnitude at 7.6.
The quake struck 10.37 PM (1437 GMT) off Hinatuan town in Surigao Del Sur province, 906 kilometres south of Manila.
Phivolcs warned the earthquake was expected to trigger tsunami waves that “may continue for hours”, reported German news agency (dpa).
“The people in the coastal areas of (Surigao Del Sur and Davao Oriental provinces) are strongly advised to immediately evacuate to higher grounds or move farther inland,” the alert said.
“Owners of boats in harbours, estuaries or shallow coastal water of the above-mentioned provinces should secure their boats and move away from the waterfront,” it added.
“Boats already at sea during this period should stay offshore in deep waters until further advised.”
The Philippines is located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, where about 90 per cent of the world’s earthquakes occur.
One of the strongest quakes to hit the country was in July 1990, when more than 2,400 people were killed on the northern island of Luzon in a 7.8-magnitude earthquake.–Bernama