MANILA, Philippines — A strong, shallow earthquake shook the central Philippines on Thursday, sending panicked residents running from their homes and schools, officials said.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said it expected some damage and aftershocks. Officials said they were verifying reports of damage to roads and buildings in a mountain town in Leyte province.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake struck Thursday afternoon and measured a preliminary 6.5 magnitude. It said it was centered near Masarayao in Leyte at a depth of 6.5 kilometers (4 miles). Shallow earthquakes generally cause more damage on the Earth’s surface.
Local residents reported strong shaking and said people fled from their houses, schools and buildings and some were knocked over.
Officials said the epicenter is in a mountainous area with small towns.
The Philippines sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” where earthquakes and volcanoes are common. A magnitude 7.7 quake killed nearly 2,000 people in the northern Philippines in 1990.
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