Earthquake of 6.9 Strikes Off Philippines, Forecasts of Small Tsunami Withdrawn After 2 Hours

An earthquake of 6.9 magnitude struck off the southern Philippine island of Mindanao on Dec. 29.

Possible small tsunami waves were being forecasted on parts of the coasts of the Philippines, Indonesia and Palau by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC), but was withdrawn after about two hours.

“There is no longer a tsunami threat from this earthquake,” the latest PTWC notice read. “Remain observant and exercise normal caution near the sea. Otherwise, no action is required.

“Minor sea level fluctuations may occur in some coastal areas near the earthquake over the next few hours.”

There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the earthquake had struck 193 km (120 miles) east of the Philippine city of General Santos at a depth of 60 km (37 miles).

USGS had initially reported the quake at 7.2 in magnitude before downgrading it.

PTWC had said earlier: “Tsunami waves are forecast to be less than 0.3 meters above the tide level for the coasts of Indonesia, Palau and the Philippines.”

There was no tsunami threat to the U.S. state of Hawaii, according to PTWC.

The Philippines’ government seismology office said cities in the south of the country felt “moderately strong” shaking.

The Philippines and Indonesia lie on the seismically active Pacific Ring of Fire and is regularly struck by earthquakes.

The latest major earthquake disaster that took place in the Philippines was in 2013 when a 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck in Bohol, an island province in Central Visayas. At least 220 people were reported dead. Old churches and modern buildings were destroyed.

Indonesia suffered two major tsunamis this year.

Just last week on Dec. 22, a tsunami slammed into the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra around 9:30 p.m. local time.

An underwater landslide caused by volcanic activity triggered the tsunami, leaving havoc and devastation in its path. The resultant death toll has exceeded 400.

In September, about 2,200 people in Palu were killed by a quake and tsunami that hit Indonesia’s Sulawesi island.

In August, an earthquake on Indonesia’s island of Lombok killed 505 people.

Reuters contributed to this report

From NTD News