Philippines hit by magnitude 6.3 quake, Manila buildings emptied

The Philippines. (PHOTO: Getty Images)
The Philippines. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

The Philippines was struck by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake late Monday afternoon that shook buildings in the capital and prompted the evacuation of thousands onto the streets of Manila.

The quake occurred 1km from Gutad, located to the northwest of Manila, according to the US Geological Survey. The Philippine disaster monitoring agency said the quake struck Castillejos in Zambales province at 5:11 pm local time.

No immediate casualties or severe damages were reported, though a train line across the capital's main highway halted operations to assess if there's damage, the transport agency said.

The airport runway is also undergoing inspection. Some areas in Luzon island are without electricity, authorities said.

Thousands of people were lining the major streets of Makati City and other business districts in Pasig and Taguig after many buildings ordered evacuation. Makati is the commercial heart of the Philippines, and home to the offices of major corporations and banks.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said aftershocks and damage are expected. The quake was felt in the Zambales and Pampanga provinces north of the capital, and southern provinces of Batangas and Cavite, according to the government seismology agency.

The government's civil defense units and disaster monitoring agency are still gathering data from different regions on the extent of any damage to people and properties, spokesman Edgar Posadas said in a mobile phone message. After shocks are still being felt in Manila.

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