Heavy earthquake hits the Philippines

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Friday, March 26, 2010

An earthquake with a magnitude of at least 6.0 has struck the Philippines, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) has reported.

The epicentre was 130 kilometres (80 miles) from the country's capital, Manila, at a depth of eighteen kilometres (11.2 miles). The temblor started at 01:29:25 local time (05:29:25 UTC), the USGS said.

Some media reports contradicted the USGS' reports, saying that the earthquake's magnitude was 6.1.

No reports of damage, injuries, or casualties have been reported, although many people working in the capital's central business district rushed out of buildings when the tremors started, according to Al Jazeera.

The chief of the Philippine seismology institute, Renato Solidum, said to the Agence France-Presse news agency that the earthquake was felt throughout the suburbs of Manila and provinces nearby. According to the Philippine News Agency, the tremors were felt in Quezon City and Lubang Island as well.