Strong quake near Philippines
Fri, August 31, 2012 - 10:15 AM
(CNN) -- An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.6 has struck off the coast of the Philippines, the U.S. Geological Survey said Friday.
The quake prompted a tsunami warning for parts of the Philippines and Indonesia, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.
"An earthquake of this size has the potential to generate a destructive tsunami that can strike coastlines near the epicenter within minutes and more distant coastlines within hours," the tsunami warning center said.
The Geological Survey initially said the quake had a magnitude of 7.9 but later revised that figure.
A tsunami watch was in effect for the Marshall Islands, Wake Island, Solomon Islands, several other Pacific islands and parts of Russia, the center said. Authorities did not immediately know whether the earthquake actually had generated a tsunami.
The quake, which was about 20 miles deep, struck just before 8:50 p.m., the agency said. Its center was about 65 miles southeast of the coastal town of Guiuan, in the Philippine province of Eastern Samar.
Aimee Menguilla, information officer of Philippines' National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, said the agency is advising regional authorities to alert citizens about possible tsunami waves.
"This is not new to us," she said. "We do regular tsunami exercises." But people need to be "particularly alert" because the earthquake occurred at night.
She said the quake was centered in the Marianas Trench in the western Pacific Ocean and was felt in the country's east. There have been no reports, she said, of damage or injuries.
A hotel employee in Guiuan said people have been advised to seek higher ground because of the tsunami warning. "We are advised to go up," said Dan Molina.
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