No reports of damage after undersea earthquake hits south-east of Philippines; tremors felt in Sabah

An undersea earthquake of magnitude 7.3 struck south-east of the Philippines on Jan 10, 2017.
An undersea earthquake of magnitude 7.3 struck south-east of the Philippines on Jan 10, 2017.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM USGS

(REUTERS, PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER, STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A major undersea earthquake with a magnitude of 7.3 struck south-east of the Philippines on Tuesday (Jan 10), but there was no  immediate damage reported. 

The quake was measured at a depth of 617km, the USGS said.

Philippine state seismologists said no immediate damage was reported, although aftershocks were expected from the quake.

The Pacific Tsunami Centre and the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, or Phivolcs, said there was no tsunami threat from the quake.

“Based on all available data, there is no tsunami threat because the earthquake is located too deep inside the earth,” Phivolcs said.

The quake was also felt in Sabah, where people ran out of multi-storey buildings following the tremors. 

Many people said they felt the buildings they were in shaking following the 2.13pm Tuesday earthquake, which hit about 466km east of Semporna.

The tremors were felt in various parts of the east coast, including Sandakan and Tawau as well as in the state capital.

“When the tremors struck I thought my head was spinning,” said office worker Ricka Johan in Sembulan.

Civil servant Cleophas John Gordon who was in his third floor office said he felt his chair shaking and when he stood up, he experienced a headache.

“The first thing that came to mind was to get out of the office, and I used the stairs to run down three floors,” he said.