MANILA: An earthquake of 7.9 magnitude struck off the Philippines on Friday and a tsunami warning has been issued for the region, the US Geological Survey and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.
The quake was centred off the east coast, 146 km off the town of Guiuan in Samar province at a depth of about 32 km, USGS said.
The tsunami warning was issued for the Philippines, Indonesia and Belau islands in the Pacific including the US state of Hawaii.
The NOAA Tsunami Center later lifted a warning for Japan, Taiwan and several other Pacific islands.
“Strong earthquake here in Taft, Eastern Samar! And it lasted very long too!” Samar congressman, Ben Evardone, told reporters via text message.
An official at the Philippines' Volcanolgy Institute said he expected damage had been caused in Samar province but he had yet to receive any reports.
“If you are anywhere near the coast I recommend that you head to higher ground,” Paul Caruso of the USGS told Sky TV by telephone when asked about a threat of a tsunami hitting the coast of the Philippines.