1 Sep 2012

7.6 earthquake off Philippines causes damage

5:27 am on 1 September 2012

A powerful earthquake in the sea off the eastern Philippines has killed one person, damaged roads and bridges and sent people fleeing to higher ground in fear of a tsunami.

The US Geological Survey says the 7.6-magnitude quake was centred about 150km off the coast of Guiuan in Samar province and was at a depth of about 32km.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a warning for much of the region, but cancelled it about two hours later.

Philippine authorities maintained their tsunami warning for longer, after ordering residents to get out of coastal areas immediately. They cancelled it more than three hours after the quake.

One woman was killed in Cagayan de Oro town on the island of Mindanao when heavy rain and the quake triggered a landslide that buried her house, disaster agency officials said.

The mayor of Guiuan told local radio there was no report of major damage, Reuters reports.

Samar congressman Ben Evardone said some bridges and roads were damaged and people had fled from coastal areas in panic, seeking refuge inland.