Monday Feb 06, 201206:29 AM GMT
6.8 quake kills one, triggers tsunami alert off Philippines
Mon Feb 6, 2012 6:28AM
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One child was crushed to death by a collapsed wall in Negros."

Benito Ramos, the chief of Office of Civil Defense

At least one person has been killed after a strong earthquake hit the central Philippines, forcing authorities to issue a local tsunami alert.

According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), the 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck 70 kilometers (44 miles) north of the city of Dumaguete on Negros Island at 11:49 a.m. (0349 GMT) Monday.

Authorities say the earthquake shook the buildings in the region and caused panic among citizens.

"One child was crushed to death by a collapsed wall in Negros," said Benito Ramos, the chief of Office of Civil Defense.

"Damage is possible in areas hit by at least intensity 5 and if the buildings are structurally weak," said Renato Solidum, the head of the Philippines Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.

The institute warned local residents along coastal areas to be on alert for possible tsunami waves. No evacuation was ordered yet.

Two aftershocks measured at 4.8 and 5.6 magnitudes on the Richter scale followed within 30 minutes of the earthquake.

On Saturday, an earthquake measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale also hit off the eastern coast of the Philippines, but there were no immediate reports of damage or a tsunami alert.

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