Four earthquakes hit the Philippines in quick succession

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Shakemap of the fourth, magnitude 7.4 earthquake.
Image: USGS.

Four earthquakes hit in quick succession the Moro Gulf, Mindanao area in the Philippines according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) early on Saturday. The first one, magnitude 7.3, took place on Friday at 22:08:11 UTC (Saturday 06:08:11 AM local time), at a depth of 604.5 kilometers (375.6 miles). The epicenter of this earthquake was located 102 kilometers southwest of Cotabato, Mindanao; and 915 kilometers south-southeast of the capital city Manila, USGS reported.

The second earthquake reached a magnitude 5.4, and occurred on Friday 22:19:35 UTC (Saturday 06:19:35 AM local time) at a depth of 594.8 kilometers (369.6 miles). The epicenter was located 95 kilometers west-southwest of Cotabato.

The third earthquake, magnitude 7.6, took place on Friday at 22:51:11 UTC (Saturday 06:51:11 AM local time) at a depth of 576.3 kilometers (358.1 miles). Its epicenter was reported to be located 115 kilometers southwest of Cotabato; and 945 kilometers (580 miles) south-southeast of Manila.

The fourth and last earthquake, magnitude 7.4, occurred on Friday at 23:15:08 UTC (Saturday 07:15:08 AM local time) at a depth of 616.7 kilometers (383.2 miles); its epicenter was located 121 kilometers (75 miles) southwest of Cotabato; and 910 kilometers (566 miles) south-southeast of Manila.

No damage has been reported, reported Rona Faeldin of the Philippines Coast Guard to CNN.

The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has released notices in response to each of the four quakes, stating that no destructive force tsunami has been generated by the deep quakes.

The quake was reported felt in cities such as Zamboanga, and officials "were still determining if there were casualties or damages", Xinhua reported. A resident in the area, Yolly Andrias told Xinhua that "they were still sleeping when the strong quake awoke them."

An 8.0 earthquake struck the region in 1976, generating a tsunami which devastated 700 kilometers of coastline in the Sulu Archipelago and southern Mindanao island. The region includes faults in the Sulu Trench in the Sulu Sea and the Cotabato Trench, a subduction zone crossing the Celebes Sea and the Moro Gulf.


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