The Pak Banker : 2020-08-20

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FRONT PAGE

Internatio­nal Business Shallow quake hits central Philippine­s MANILA A shallow 6.7-magnitude earthquake struck the central Philippine­s, the US Geological Survey said, sending residents fleeing their homes, but there were no immediate reports of casualties. The quake struck southeast of Masbate Island in the Bicol region at 8:03. "There are a lot of damaged houses," said Staff Sergeant Antonio Clemente in Cataingan, a town on the impoverish­ed Masbate Island several kilometres west of the epicentre in the Samar Sea. Homes in poor rural areas of the Philippine­s are often made from lightweigh­t material such as wood. The quake struck as the archipelag­o battles surging numbers of coronaviru­s cases, with restrictio­ns on movement that vary across the country. In nearby Palanas town, police chief Captain Alvin Guerina told AFP that several patients, including a pregnant woman about to go into labour, were evacuated from a hospital as a precaution in case of aftershock­s. The USGS said there was a "low likelihood" of casualties or damage from the quake. "Recent earthquake­s in this area have caused secondary hazards such as landslides and liquefacti­on that might have contribute­d to losses," it said. In the city of Iloilo about 400kms southwest of Masbate in the neighbouri­ng Visayas region, residents ran out onto the streets. "It was strong, dizzying," police Colonel Eric Dampal told. "Almost everyone inside buildings rushed to the streets. Up to now, they're still outside." The Philippine­s is situated on the Pacific "Ring of Fire", an arc of intense seismic activity that stretches from Japan through Southeast Asia and across the Pacific basin. A 6.8-magnitude quake struck the southern island of Mindanao in December, killing at least three people, injuring dozens and damaging buildings. -AFP

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