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One dead, local tsunami alert in 6.7 quake off Philippines

MANILA, Feb 6 — One child died and a local tsunami alert was issued after a magnitude 6.7 earthquake followed by two aftershocks struck off the Philippine island of Negros today, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS) and a local monitoring service.

The Philippines Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said it warned residents along coastal areas to be on the watch for unusual waves as it raised a tsunami alert at level 2.

No evacuation was ordered yet.

The institute also warned that structurally weak buildings might sustain damage. The US Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said that based on all available data a Pacific-wide tsunami was not expected.

The quake, with depth of about 10km, according to the institute, and centred just 5km off the shore of Tayasan, Negros Oriental, was felt at intensity 7 in Dumaguete City and intensity 6 in Bacolod City, according to the institute.

The USGS put the quake at 6.7 in magnitude and a depth of 19.8km.

Two aftershocks, of 4.8 and 5.6 magnitude on the USGS scale, followed within 30 minutes of the earthquake.

“Damage is possible in areas hit by at least intensity 5 and if the buildings are structurally weak,” Renato Solidum, head of the volcanology and seismology institute said in a radio interview. — Reuters

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