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MANILA, Philippines – A strong earthquake shook the northern Philippines on Wednesday, causing some damage and prompting people to flee buildings in the capital. Officials said there were no immediate reports of injuries.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said the quake, with a magnitude of 7.3, had its epicenter around the province of Abra in a mountainous area, followed by several aftershocks.
The institute said the quake was caused by movement in a local fault at a depth of 25 km, adding that it expected damage and more aftershocks.
Officials said the strong tremor caused cracks in buildings and homes.
The US Geological Survey measured the earthquake’s strength at 7.0 and a depth of 10 kilometers (6 miles). Shallow earthquakes tend to cause more damage.
The Philippines lies along the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” the arc of faults around the Pacific Ocean where most of the world’s earthquakes occur. It is also hit by about 20 hurricanes and tropical storms each year, making it one of the world’s most disaster-prone countries.
An earthquake measuring 7.7 on the Richter scale killed nearly 2,000 people in the northern Philippines in 1990.
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