Strong quake shakes southern Philippines, classes suspended

DAVAO, Philippines (AP) — A strong, shallow earthquake shook a mountainous region in the southeastern Philippines on Wednesday, but there were no immediate reports of major damage or injuries, officials said.

The 6.1 magnitude quake, which was triggered by a local fault, struck about 14 kilometers (8.7 miles) northeast of New Bataan town in the coastal province of Davao de Oro at a depth of 11 kilometers (6.8 miles), the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said.

Several southern cities and provinces were rocked by the quake, the government institute said, adding that it was expecting aftershocks.

Davao de Oro Gov. Dorothy Gonzaga suspended classes and most government work in the province on Thursday to allow inspections of buildings for possible damage. The province of more than 700,000 people lies in a region that was still reeling from heavy rains and flooding last week.

The Philippines lies along the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of faults around the Pacific Ocean where most of the world’s earthquakes occur. It is also hit by about 20 typhoons and tropical storms each year, making it one of the world’s most disaster-prone countries.

A magnitude 7.7 quake killed nearly 2,000 people in the northern Philippines in 1990.

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