Asia Pacific

Strong quake strikes Philippines, no major damage reported

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  • Initial tsunami alert lifted
  • Transport facilities, personnel all accounted for
  • No injuries, casualty reports so far -disaster agency
  • Philippines experiences frequent quakes

MANILA, Aug 12 (Reuters) - A powerful magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck off the Philippines on Thursday, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said, as initial warnings about the risk of tsunamis were lifted and with no immediate reports of casualties or major damage.

The quake was at a depth of 65.6 km (40.76 miles), the USGS said, with its epicentre in the Philippine Sea southeast of Davao City.

The Philippine national disaster agency had so far received no reports of casualties, injuries or major damage, administrator Ricardo Jalad said.

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"Looks like nothing scary happened, like a collapse of a building," Jalad told reporters.

Airports, sea ports and key infrastructure were for the most part unaffected by the quake, while all personnel were accounted for, the transport ministry said.

A seldom-used airport in southern Davao Oriental province had minor cracks on the runway, but there was no damage to the passenger terminal building, it said.

The Philippines' seismology agency initially warned of the risk of damage, aftershocks and a tsunami, but it later said data showed there was no threat of a destructive tsunami.

The U.S. National Weather Service and Hawaii Emergency Management also said there was no risk of a tsunami for the U.S. West Coast or Hawaii.

The Philippines is on the geologically active Pacific Ring of Fire and experiences frequent earthquakes.

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Reporting by Kanishka Singh and Maria Ponnezhath in Bengaluru and Neil Jerome Morales in Manila; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Ed Davies and Michael Perry

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