By Joel Guinto and Clarissa Batino/businessweek.com- The strongest earthquake in more than two decades to hit the Philippines caused minimal damage, with one death reported.
A magnitude-7.6 earthquake struck offshore 108 miles (174 kilometers) northeast of Surigao City, at the northern tip of Mindanao Island at 8:47 p.m. local time yesterday, triggering a tsunami warning that was lifted after two hours, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. Evacuations were ordered in eastern, central and southern regions of the country as the tremor triggered landslides, killing a 44-year-old woman and wounding a child.
“Last night’s quake is the strongest to hit the country since the 1990 quake in Luzon,” Civil Defense Administrator Benito Ramos said in a telephone interview today. “This was stronger than what hit Negros” earlier this year.
A 6.8-magnitude quake killed 51 and left more than 60 people missing in the Negros and Cebu regions in February. That tremor damaged homes and bridges and shut offices, schools and malls in the central Philippines. A 7.7-magnitude quake killed more than 1,500 people on the main island of Luzon in July 1990.
Yesterday’s earthquake didn’t cause major damage as the epicenter was 112 kilometers (70 miles) from the nearest shore in Eastern Samar, Renato Solidum, the country’s chief volcanologist, said in a telephone interview today. The February temblor was closer to land,
A magnitude 7.9 quake in the Celebes Sea off Mindanao in 1976 triggered a tsunami that left an estimated 6,000 people dead or missing, Solidum said.
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