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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Powerful earthquake strikes eastern Philippines, but tsunami fears abate

By Andrés R. Martínez New York Times

A 7.6-magnitude earthquake struck the eastern parts of the Philippines on Saturday, leading to tsunami warnings across the region and as far as the southern part of Japan, nearly 2,000 miles away that were later lifted, authorities said.

After small tsunami waves were recorded, officials said that the threat had passed.

The quake struck at about 10:37 p.m. local time in Mindanao, in the eastern part of the Philippines, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Property damage and power failures near the earthquake’s epicenter in Mindanao were reported, according to a Filipino television network. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

Residents of the provinces Suriago del Sur and Davao Oriental on the eastern part of Mindanao were warned to head to higher ground or move farther inland because of the possibility of tsunami waves of more than 1 meter, or a little more than 3 feet, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.

The institute had warned of a “destructive tsunami” with “life-threatening wave heights,” but after detecting small tsunami waves around 3 a.m. in Manila, the institute said that the threat had “largely passed the Philippines.”

Earlier, the Japan Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami advisory for the Pacific coast of Japan, from the Miyakojima-Yaeyama region to Chiba Prefecture.

Coastal areas in Miyakojima and Ishigaki in Okinawa prefecture in Japan were ordered to evacuate, according to the Japanese television network NHK.

The U.S. Tsunami Warning System said that minor sea fluctuations were possible around the Northern Mariana Islands, more than 1,500 miles east of the earthquake in Mindanao, but that the threat of a tsunami had passed.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.