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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 21 June 2018

Strong aftershock follows damaging quake in Philippines

The strongest aftershock yet may trigger landslides or cause more damage to structures

People stand next to cracks in the ground at a park a day after a 6.5 magnitude earthquake hit the town of Tongonan, Leyte province on July 7, 2017. AFP / Lito Bagunas
People stand next to cracks in the ground at a park a day after a 6.5 magnitude earthquake hit the town of Tongonan, Leyte province on July 7, 2017. AFP / Lito Bagunas

MANILA // A 5.9-magnitude quake on Monday rocked a central Philippine island still reeling from a deadly tremor last week, though there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties, seismologists said.

The US Geological Survey said the moderately strong quake struck Leyte island near Ormoc, a city of about 200,000 people, at 9.41am local time (0141 GMT) at a relatively shallow depth of 12.7 kilometres.

Renato Solidum, head of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, said the aftershock may trigger landslides or cause more damage to already damaged structures.

A 6.5 quake stuck the region on Thursday last week, killing two people and leaving 72 others injured. It trigerred landlsides and collapsed a building with a grovery store and other shops.

Large areas of Leyte, home to some 1.75 million people, and some parts of the central Philippines were still without electricity this week due to damage to a Leyte power plant.

The Philippines lies on the so-called Ring of Fire, a vast Pacific Ocean region where many earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur.