6.5-magnitude quake hits central Philippine island: USGS

By AFP   July 6, 2017 | 04:56 pm GMT+7

There was no immediate warning of a tsunami.

A 6.5-magnitude earthquake rattled the central Philippines Thursday, U.S. seismologists said, with shaking reported although residents in two major cities reported no major damage.

The quake hit at a depth of around six kilometers (four miles), on the central island of Leyte, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

There was no immediate warning of a tsunami, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.

Large parts of Leyte were devastated by super typhoon Haiyan in November 2013.

Huge tsunami-like waves smashed the city of Tacloban and nearby areas, leaving 7,350 people dead or missing.

A receptionist at Hotel XYZ told AFP the quake was felt in Tacloban, but did not damage buildings there.

"It was far away from here, were are okay," the receptionist said.

A receptionist at a hotel in another part of the city reported the quake was felt but did not cause damage in the area. "We are safe," he said.

In Cebu, the biggest city in the central Philippines, a receptionist at a hotel also said there had been no major damage.

But people across the region of mostly farming and fishing communities reported feeling a powerful quake.

Marlon Tano, a Leyte farmer and journalist, told AFP it knocked him off his feet at his eggplant farm in Borauen, a town near the quake's epicentre.

"It was so strong that I fell," Tano said.

"I saw buses and motorcyles stopping on the highway and people getting off them," he added.

In February, a 6.5-magnitude quake killed eight people and left more than 250 injured outside the southern city of Surigao.

The following month a 5.9-magnitude tremor killed one person there in March.

Before the Surigao quakes, the last lethal earthquake to hit the country was a 7.1-magnitude tremor that left more than 220 people dead and destroyed historic churches when it struck the central islands in October 2013.

The Philippines lies on the so-called Ring of Fire, a vast Pacific Ocean region where many quakes and volcanic eruptions occur.