Central Philippines Rocked by Series of Quakes
MANILA, Philippines (AP) _ A series of earthquakes shook wide areas of the central and southern Philippines early Friday, forcing residents and workers out of buildings, officials said.
No casualties were immediately reported.
Radio station DZMM reported damage to some streets and cracks in buildings in Tacloban on Leyte Island, 330 miles southeast of Manila.
The station said office workers refused to enter buildings. Telephone service was interrupted because operators feared going inside their booths, and authorities cut electricity to prevent fires.
The strongest of the four quakes was felt mildly in Manila. It could have a magnitude of more than 7, said seismologist Aris Jimenez of the Philippines Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.
Institute director Raymundo Punongbayan linked the quakes to a magnitude 5.5 quake that shook the southern Philippines on Thursday.
Jimenez said the epicenter of Friday’s first quake, which had a magnitude of 5.2, was located under the sea about 55 miles northeast of Borongan on Samar Island. The area is about 345 miles southeast of Manila.
The second quake, with a magnitude of 6.9, was located 6 miles nearer to Borongan, but underground.
Authorities advised residents near coastal areas to move to higher ground, saying they would have little time to flee if tremors caused tsunamis, or large and destructive waves.