Philippine earthquake downgraded to magnitude 6.8 from 7.2

Manila, Nov 17 (Agency) The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology on Friday downgraded the magnitude of the offshore earthquake that struck Davao Occidental in the southern Philippines to 6.8 from 7.2. In an updated report, the institute said the quake, which occurred at 4:14 p.m. local time (GMT 0814), hit at a depth of 72 kilometers, about 34 kilometers northwest of Sarangani town. The institute said the tectonic quake will trigger aftershocks and cause damage.

There is no tsunami threat. The tremor was felt strongly in nearby areas on Mindanao island, including General Santos City and the provinces of South Cotabato and Davao del Sur. Local officials told a radio interview that the strong tremor shook off items from the shelves and prompted people to rush out of houses, schools, and buildings in panic. Possible damages were monitored by local officials, while there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties at the moment. Some areas in the quake-affected region are out of power, local media reported. The archipelagic Philippines has frequent seismic activities due to its location along the Pacific “Ring of Fire.”