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Moderate quake shakes southern Philippines

[MANILA] A 5.9-magnitude earthquake hit off the coast of southern Philippines early Thursday, seismologists said, with no damage or casualties immediately reported and no tsunami warning issued.

The quake occurred at 2.21am (1821 GMT Wednesday) off Mindanao island with its epicentre about 28km north-west of the mountainous town of Siocon at a depth of about 12 kilometres, the US Geological Survey said.

It struck more than 750km south of Manila, the capital of the Philippines.

A USGS map recorded moderate-strong shaking on coastal areas near the quake's epicentre, but said the risk of damage was not high.

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Local authorities said there was no tsunami risk and that they had not received reports of casualties or damage, but warned that some buildings could be affected.

"Quakes of this magnitude can cause damage on poorly built structures," state seismologist Dante Soneja of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology told AFP.

The institute's own instruments measured the quake's magnitude at 5.7 with a depth of 15km, Mr Soneja added.

The Philippines is regularly hit by quakes due to its location along the so-called chain of fire of islands of the Pacific Ocean that were created by volcanic activity.


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