Large earthquake strikes off Philippines

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A 7.6-magnitude earthquake has struck off the eastern Philippine island of Samar, causing tsunami evacuations and power cuts.

The regional tsunami warnings have now been lifted.

The earthquake struck at a depth of 33km (20 miles) at 20:47 local time (12:47 GMT), the US Geological Survey said.

The quake was said to be long and violent, with some roads and bridges reported to be damaged.

One woman was reported to have been killed and a young child injured when a house collapsed in Cagayan de Oro city, on the main southern island of Mindanao, officials said.

'Shaking violently'

Tsunami warnings were initially issued for Indonesia, the Philippines, Palau, Taiwan, Japan, Papua New Guinea, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and Yap, but they have all now been lifted.

Start Quote

I was really very scared and we don't know if there will be more shocks”

End Quote Marivic Singco, Plan International

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said a tsunami had been generated, but the waves witnessed were small. Some parts of the southern and eastern Philippines were hit by a wave of 16cm (6in).

The epicentre of the quake was 146km from the town of Guiuan, on the southern tip of Samar.

Marivic Singco, country finance manager of the aid organisation Plan International, experienced the quake in the Philippine city of Tacloban on the northern tip of Leyte island.

She said she was in a restaurant and took shelter under a table when the quake struck.

"It lasted for about half a minute; it felt so long! It was very strong and getting stronger. Tables were shaking violently. Other customers started to run for the door, but we stayed where we were until it stopped."

House collapse in Cagayan de Oro city, on Mindanao One woman was reported killed in a house collapse in Cagayan de Oro on Mindanao

She said there was no power and the city was dark.

"I was really very scared and we don't know if there will be more shocks."

"Strong earthquake here in Taft, Eastern Samar! And it lasted very long too," Reuters news agency quoted a local congressman, Ben Evardone, as saying in a text message.

"We are in a wait-and-see situation. Some bridges and roads were damaged and people panicked and are now on higher ground," he told local radio.

Philippine officials said residents on the eastern coast of the island had been advised to move to a higher level.

A fisherman in Guiuan told Associated Press by telephone: "My neighbours and I have evacuated. We are now on our way to the mountains."

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