Strong, shallow earthquake shakes central Philippines

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A strong, shallow earthquake shook the central Philippines on Thursday, sending panicked villagers running from their homes.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said it expected some damage and aftershocks. However, there were no immediate reports of serious damage or casualties.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake measured a preliminary 6.5 magnitude. It said it was centered near Masarayao in Leyte province at a depth of 6.5 kilometers (4 miles). Shallow earthquakes generally cause more damage on the Earth’s surface.

Local residents reported strong shaking and said people fled from their houses, and some were knocked over.

Officials said the epicenter is in a mountainous area with small towns.

The Philippines sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” where earthquakes and volcanoes are common. A magnitude 7.7 quake killed nearly 2,000 people in the northern Philippines in 1990.

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