Magnitude 6.5 quake hits Leyte

CEBU CITY (10th Update) -- A shallow magnitude 6.5 earthquake hit Leyte province Thursday afternoon, July 6, injuring a number of people in a collapsed building, knocking out power in some areas, and sending villagers fleeing from their homes, officials said.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) recorded eight aftershocks as of 6:50 p.m.

The agency said the 6.5-magnitude tremor occurred at 4:03 p.m., with the epicenter located eight kilometers southwest of Jaro, Leyte. It had a depth of two kilometers.

The tremor was felt at:

Intensity 6 - Jaro and Kananga, Leyte

Intensity 5 - Tacloban City; Palo, Leyte; Cebu City; Mandaue City; Ormoc City

Intensity 4 - Catbalogan City; Cabucgayan and Naval, Biliran; Tolosa and Bato, Leyte; Hinunangan, Southern Leyte; Sagay City, Negros Occidental; Burgos, Surigao del Norte

Intensity 3 - Bogo City and Talisay, Cebu; Roxas City; Iloilo City; Bacolod City; Inopacan, Leyte; Sogod, Southern Leyte; Calatrava, Negros Occidental; Tagbilaran City; Jagna, Bohol

Intensity 2 - Libjo, San Jose, Cagdianao, Dinagat Islands; Sorsogon City; Lapu-lapu City; San Juan, Southern Leyte; Javier, Leyte

Intensity 1 - La Carlota City, Negros Occidental; Catarman, Northern Samar

Phivolcs said the quake posed no tsunami threats, but damage is expected. Shallow earthquakes generally cause more damage on the Earth's surface, said experts.

The quake Thursday destroyed a building in Kananga town, which is located next to Jaro.

Kananga Vice Mayor Elmer Codilla said 10 people were injured when the building collapsed, and several others were trapped.

"There's an ongoing rescue," he told dzMM radio.

Codilla said he was not aware how many people were in the building, which had a grocery store and a beauty parlor on the ground floor. Police said it had two floors.

Power was also cut in Tacloban City and other parts of Leyte, said Governor Dominic Petilla in a television interview.

In Cebu City, the tremor sent workers and students out of their offices and classrooms.

Employees of the Mandaue City Hall also evacuated their building, while the Cebu Normal University suspended its afternoon classes.

People also went out of the Visayas State University in Baybay City, Leyte, following the incident.

In Ormoc City, also in Leyte, people also went out of establishments, and some patients in hospitals were told to go out.

The quake also caused power interruption in several places in Cebu province, said the Visayan Electric Company.
(SunStar Philippines/With AP)

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