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6.5-magnitude earthquake shakes central Philippines

A shallow earthquake struck a region in the central Philippines on Tuesday, prompting people to evict homes and offices, but no serious injuries or damage had been reported so far.

The Institute of Volcanology and Seismology of the Philippines indicated that there will be damage and aftershocks of the magnitude 6.5 earthquake that struck an area located about 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the coastal town of Cataingan, in Masbate province, at a depth about 1 kilometer (half a mile).

Renato Solidum, who heads that government institute, said there was no risk of a tsunami as a result of the earthquake, triggered by movements in the Philippine plate.

The Philippines is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, a series of geological faults where the majority of earthquakes in the world occur. The country is also affected by about 20 typhoons and other storms each year, making it one of the nations most prone to natural disasters.

A 7.7 magnitude earthquake killed nearly 2,000 people in the northern Philippines in 1990.