Hundreds flee after three strong quakes strike Philippines

Philippines struck by 5.7 magnitude earthquake

Earthquake strikes Philippines near Manila

Two quakes jolted Mabini town in Batangas Saturday afternoon a minute apart: first a magnitude 5.7 at 3:08 p.m., followed by a magnitude 5.9.

MANILA: A trio of strong earthquakes damaged buildings and caused panicked tourists to flee a popular dive resort near the Philippine capital on Saturday, officials and eyewitnesses said.

Lito Castro, head of the provincial disaster council, told local media: "Residents in the coastal villages in two towns have evacuated to safer ground after the earthquakes".

The report, Garcia said, also showed temporary evacuation of some families from the town of Agoncillo, San Pascual and Tingloy, while all general hospitals in the city of Lipa have evacuated their respective patients outside the hospitals. No casualty was reported.

A third quake with a magnitude of 4.1 occurred nearly two hours later at 4:43 p.m.

In July 1990, more than 2,400 people were killed on the northern island of Luzon in a magnitude-7.8 quake, one of the strongest tremors to hit the country.

At least 400 aftershocks, with magnitudes between 1.8 and 4.7, have been recorded as of 10 a.m. yesterday.

However, Phivolcs said the origin of the quake is also near the local fault along Mabini, Batangas.

He also said tsunamis were impossible since the earthquakes were not strong enough to move faults that could lead to a tsunami.

Swarms are events where a local area is hit by a sequence of many quakes in a relative short period of time.

Aftershocks are still possible after the swarm of quakes, he said, advising Batangas residents to remain in their homes.

"This is tectonic in origin, caused by the movement of a local, unnamed fault between the towns of Tingloy and Mabini", he said.

Intensity 7 was recorded in Mabini, Batangas while varying intensities were monitored in other places in Batangas, Cavite, Oreintal Mindoro, Bulacan, Metro Manila, Quezon, Pampanga and Camarines Norte. As of 4:43 p.m. almost 800 small aftershocks were recorded, but they were too weak to trigger any tsunamis or damage. No serious injuries were reported immediately.

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