A major 6.4 magnitude tremor rocked the island of Mindanao at 19:37 local time. The earthquake came just 28 miles (46km) southwest of the city of Davao which has a population of more than 1.2 million. One person in Digos, located 14 miles from the epicentre, took to earthquake monitoring site CSEM EMSC to describe the tremor.
They wrote: “So strong, the strongest so far that i have ever felt.”
Another person, in Davao, said it was “very strong, very sudden.”
The tremor originally came in as a magnitude 6.7 but has since been downgraded.
Phivolcs, which monitors earthquakes and volcanoes in the Philippines director, director Renato Solidum described the quake as “moderately strong.
Phivolcs also said that aftershocks and reports of damage are expected to come in the ensuing hours and days.
The Pacific Tsunami Center has ruled out the possibility of a tsunami following the tremor.
One of the reasons the Philippines is particularly seismically active is that it is situated on top of the so called Ring of Fire.
The Ring of Fire is the largest and most active fault line in the world, stretching from New Zealand, around the east coast of Asia, over to Canada and the USA and all the way down to the southern tip of South America and causes more than 90 percent of the world’s earthquakes.
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The most fatal of the Philippines’ earthquakes came in 1976 when a 7.9 magnitude tremor claimed the lives of 4,791 people.
With a population of 108 millions, a major quake could be devastating for the Philippines – and experts at Phivolcs know the ‘Big One’ is coming.
Phivolcs said in a statement that “any active faults that have not generated historical surface-rupturing events have higher potential to generate a large earthquake also known as ‘The Big One’ which can significantly affect different areas in the Philippines”.
It added: “Hence, everyone should be preparing for it.”