5.9 magnitude quake shakes southern Philippines

A moderate earthquake struck the southern Philippines on Monday, just days after a powerful tremor rocked the same region and triggered a tsunami warning, the government said.

The quake, measuring 5.9, was located in the Celebes Sea, 67 kilometres (42 miles) west of Palimbang town on the southern island of Mindanao, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said.

It set objects swaying in nearby cities but was not expected to cause any serious damage, said the institute's chief, Renato Solidum.

"We expect aftershocks," he told AFP.

There were no immediate reports of any damage, authorities said.

The latest quake, which struck at a depth of 36 kilometres, was not related to the 7.6-magnitude quake that struck late Friday near Mindanao, Solidum said.

That quake in the Pacific Ocean prompted the government to issue a tsunami warning, causing thousands of villagers to flee their coastal homes in the southern and central islands.

But the tremors caused a series of only small waves and the death of one woman, who was hit by a landslide.

The Philippines is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, with an average of 20 typhoons battering the island nation every year.

It also sits on the Pacific Rim of Fire -- a belt around the Pacific Ocean dotted by active volcanoes and unstable ocean trenches.


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