There was no longer a tsunami threat after a magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck off the coast of the southern Philippines island of Mindanao on Saturday, the US Tsunami Warning System said.

“Based on all available data … the tsunami threat from this earthquake has now passed,” it said.

It initially warned that tsunami waves of up to 3 meters (9 feet) could hit part of the Philippines, Indonesia, Palau, and Malaysia.

But it downgraded that warning, saying, “minor sea level fluctuations may occur in some coastal areas.”

Tsunami warnings have also been issued in Japan.

Philippines on the ‘Ring of Fire’

According to the US Geological Survey, the quake struck off the coast of the southern Philippines island of Mindanao and happened at 10:37 p.m. local time (1437 GMT). There were no reports of damage or casualties.

Powerful aftershocks, with magnitudes up to 6.4, continued shaking the region into Sunday morning, according to the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC).

The Philippines is part of the so-called “Ring of Fire” in the Pacific Ocean, where volcanic activity and earthquakes remain common.

“We’re used to earthquakes here, but this one was different because the doors were really shaking, and so we were all panicking,” Dyl Constantino, who was on Siargao Island, northeast of Mindanao, told the AFP news agency.

Evacuation orders

In Hinatuan in the province of Surigao del Sur, 45,000 residents had been ordered to leave their homes and fled on foot to higher ground. Philippine authorities also told people living near the coast of the Davao Oriental provinces to evacuate.

Japan’s Meteorological Agency warned waves of up to a meter were expected to reach the country’s southwestern coast.

The Japanese broadcaster NHK said authorities have ordered the evacuation of thousands of coastal residents of Ishigaki, Miyako islands and Futtsu City because of the tsunami threat.


Read Today's News TODAY... on our Telegram Channel click here to join and receive all the latest updates