The Pacific region, including Hawaii, was under a tsunami watch earlier this morning after a massive earthquake hit off the Philippine island of Samar. The earthquake caused tsunami evacuations and power outages. Some parts of the southern and eastern Philippines were hit by a wave of 16 cm (6 inches). All of the tsunami warnings were later cancelled.
The earthquake struck at a depth of 33 km (20 miles) at 2047 local time (1247 GMT), the US Geological Survey said.
The quake was said to be long and violent, with some roads and bridges reported to be damaged.
Philippine authorities said the quake shook the eastern Philippines, but there were no immediate reports of damage or deaths, however, one woman was reported to have been killed
and a young child injured when a house collapsed in Cagayan de Oro city on the main southern island of Mindanao in the
So far, it had been reported that some bridges and roads were damaged and people were panicked.
Benito Ramos, a retired general who heads the country’s disaster-response agency, said in an advisory broadcast nationwide that residents should be on the alert for aftershocks.
“Don’t sleep, especially those in the eastern seaboard … because there might be aftershocks,” he said.
The first quake, originally pegged at a magnitude of 7.9, was centered 106 kilometers east of Samar Island, the USGS said. The second earthquake, with a magnitude of 5.5, struck 102 kilometers northeast of San Isidro.
The initial quake set off car alarms, shook items off shelves. and sent many coastal residents fleeing for higher ground.
The Philippine archipelago is located in the Pacific “Ring of Fire” where earthquakes and volcanic activity are common. A magnitude 7.7 quake killed nearly 2,000 people on northern Luzon island in 1990.