Manila, Aug 18 (efe-epa).- An earthquake of magnitude-6.7 shook the island province of Masbate, in the central Philippines, on Tuesday morning, leaving at least one person dead, in addition to demolishing homes and damaging public buildings and roads.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) put the magnitude of the earthquake at 6.7, while the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) placed it at magnitude-6.6.
The epicenter of the earthquake, which took place at 8.03 am local time (02:03 GMT), was located 5 kilometers (3 miles) southwest of the town of Cataingan, where it was felt with high intensity, and the hypocenter was a kilometer deep, according to Phivolcs.
The National Center for Disaster Risk Reduction’s provincial delegation in Masbate reported in their preliminary damage report that a man, believed to be a retired policeman, died in the collapse of his house in Cataingan, while his wife was injured.
There were also reports of other injuries while search and rescue operations were ongoing.
The Philippine Red Cross office in Masbate province published on social media networks images of the damage of the earthquake, which caused deep ruptures in roads and highways, damage to the public market and Cataingan port, peeled off the facades of apartment buildings and collapsed dozens of homes located in the poorest areas of the coast.
The tremor was also felt in the neighboring islands of Panay, Samar, Leyte and Negros, and in the provinces of Albay and Sorsogon, in the extreme south of the island of Luzon.
Many aftershocks of magnitude greater than 3 followed the tectonic earthquake and, according to Phivolcs, more are expected.
Phivolcs director Renato Solidum said another large earthquake could not be ruled out, but weaker aftershocks were mostly expected.
The Philippines sits on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, an area affected by around 90 percent of the world’s seismic and volcanic activity, and which is shaken by some 7,000 tremors a year, most of them moderate.
The last major earthquake to hit the country was one of magnitude-7.1 that killed more than 220 people in the central Philippines in October 2013, and in July 1990, more than 2,400 people died on the island of Luzon after a magnitude-7.8 earthquake, one of the strongest to hit the country. EFE-EPA