A powerful and shallow earthquake struck a central Philippine region Tuesday, prompting people to dash out of homes and offices for safety.
Fallen bricks and other scattered damage was apparent in a coastal town near the epicenter, but there were no reports yet of serious injuries.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said it was expecting damage and aftershocks from the 6.5 magnitude quake that hit an area about 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the coastal town of Cataingan in Masbate province at a depth of about a kilometer (half a mile).
Renato Solidum, who heads the government institute, said there was no threat of a tsunami from the earthquake, which was set off by movement in the Philippine Fault.
The Philippines lies in the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of faults around the Pacific Ocean where most of the world’s earthquakes occur. It’s also lashed by about 20 typhoons and 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.