MANILA (AFP, BLOOMBERG) – An earthquake that struck east of the Philippine capital Manila on Friday (Sept 13) set buildings swaying and sent scores into the streets, but there were no immediate reports of damage, the authorities said.
The 5.2-magnitude jolt hit offshore near sparsely populated Polillo Island, about 130km from Manila, according to the US Geological Survey.
Buildings in the capital were briefly evacuated and trains halted as crews looked for any damage.
The central bank cut short a briefing as people were asked to evacuate the building. The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that the Senate building was also evacuated.
“We have not received any calls for help or reports of emergency incidents related to the quake,” Tricia Cervantes, of the rescue office in Manila’s Makati district, told AFP.
The shaking was felt strongly at the epicentre, but there were no immediate reports of destruction.
“Everyone rushed out of the buildings. We were terrified,” Rezil Golbin, a civilian employee at the police office on Polillo Island, told AFP.
“Even the prisoners at the jail cell here were shouting, ‘Get us out of here!’” she added.
Located along the Pacific Ring of Fire, the Philippines is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
In 2013, a 7.2-magnitude quake hit Bohol province and areas in central Philippines, killing more than 200 people and affecting 600,000 families.