Strong earthquake hits offshore area in NE Philippines

13:42, March 02, 2010      

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A strong earthquake disrupted Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's speech in Tuguegarao City on Tuesday morning, local media reported.

Arroyo had to stop her speech when the 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck the offshore areas about 130 kilometers northeast of Tuguegarao City on Luzon Island at 10:51 a.m. local time, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivocs) said.

The epicenter is located at 18.49 degrees north latitude and 122.51 degrees east longitude with a depth of 21 km, the Phivocs said.

There has been no reports of any casualties and damages so far.

The Philippines sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" where continental plates collide, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity.

The earthquake triggered tsunami on Aug. 16, 1976 killed between 5,000 and 8,000 people in the Moro Gulf region in southern Philippines.

Source: Xinhua
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