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Three earthquakes in 20 minutes hit the Philippines yesterday (9th April)

A series of three earthquakes ranging in magnitude from 5.0 to 5.9 have struck the Philippines south of Manila. The strong earthquakes damaged buildings and caused panicked tourists to flee a popular dive resort near the Philippine capital on Saturday. The three quakes struck Batangas province, about 90 km’s south of Manila, about 3 pm. The first 5.5-magnitude temblor struck inland at 3:08 pm followed by a 5.9 quake just a minute later, according to a revised report by the US Geological Service the first quake was earlier reported as 5.7 in magnitude.

“I was in the pool taking diving lessons when the ground shook…. We all climbed out and ran. Concrete slabs were falling,” Filipino tourist Arnel Casanova, told APF by telephone from a Mabini dive resort. “When I went back to my room the ceiling had collapsed and the glass windows were broken, but so far everybody is safe,” said Casanova

The quakes caused landslides which blocked two roads and damaged an old church, a hospital and several houses in the area, local officials reported. The quakes also caused power outages across the region but caused no casualties, said Romina Marasigan, spokeswoman for the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

A 6.5-magnitude quake killed eight people and left more than 250 injured outside the southern city of Surigao in February and another 5.9-magnitude tremor killed one person there last month.

Before the Surigao quakes, the last lethal earthquake to hit the country was a 7.1-magnitude tremor that left more than 220 people dead and destroyed historic churches when it struck the central islands in October 2013.

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Asia Pacific Fire, Editor