MANILA, Philippines –A powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 struck under the Celebes Sea off the southern Philippines on Tuesday but was far too deep to cause any damage and casualties or generate a tsunami.
Renato Solidum of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said the quake, which was set off by movement of oceanic plates 625 kilometres (387 miles) under the seabed, was slightly felt in southern General Santos city.
The undersea quake was centred 223 kilometres ((138 miles) southeast of Sulu province and aftershocks were possible, he said, adding such quakes at that depth are rare although shallower ones have struck the region a number of times in the past.
The Philippine archipelago lies in the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” where earthquakes and volcanic activities are common. A magnitude 7.7 quake killed nearly 2,000 people on the northern island of Luzon in 1990.