A powerful earthquake shook parts of the southern Philippines on Thursday with its tremors also felt in Indonesia. Authorities said that the earthquake was too deep to cause major damage and no tsunami warning was issued.
The quake measured a preliminary 7.0 magnitude and was located 95.8 kilometers (60 miles) below the sea and about 210 kilometers (130 miles) southeast of Pondaguitan in Davao Occidental province, the U.S. Geological Survey said, according to The Associated Press (AP).
The earthquake was felt in nearby cities and provinces in the region, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said. The USGS said there was a low likelihood of casualties or damage.
The U.S. Tsunami Warning System said there was no tsunami threat. Deep earthquakes generally cause less damage on the Earth’s surface. The southern Davao region has been battered by powerful earthquakes set off by local fault lines in recent years.
The Philippines lies along the Pacific "Ring of Fire,” an arc of faults around the Pacific Ocean where most of the world’s earthquakes occur. It is also lashed by about 20 typhoons and tropical storms each year, making it one of the world’s most disaster-prone countries. A magnitude 7.7 quake killed nearly 2,000 people in the northern Philippines in 1990.
Last week, a 6.2-magnitude earthquake on Indonesia's Sulawesi island killed at least 42 people and injured hundreds. The powerful quake struck 6 kilometers (3.73 miles) northeast of the town of Majene, at the relatively shallow depth of 10 km, just before 1:30 a.m., sending thousands of frightened residents out of their homes and fleeing for higher ground.
The Indonesian disaster agency said at least 300 houses and a health clinic were damaged and about 15,000 people were being housed in temporary shelters in the district.
Pictures of the aftermath appeared on social media as the head of the disaster agency and social affairs minister were scheduled to fly in.
Videos showed residents fleeing to higher ground on motorcycles, and a child trapped under the rubble as people tried to remove debris with their hands. Indonesia, a vast archipelago of 260 million people, is frequently struck by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis because of its location on the "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.
In 2018, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake in Palu on Sulawesi island set off a tsunami and caused the soil to collapse in a phenomenon called liquefaction. More than 4,000 people died, many of the victims buried when whole neighborhoods were swallowed in the falling ground. A powerful Indian Ocean quake and tsunami in 2004 killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries, most of them in Indonesia.