A 6.9 magnitude earthquake was recorded off the coast of the southern Philippines on Saturday, December 29. The tremors were recorded about 193 km east of the Philippine city of General Santos and was at a depth of 60 km.
The quake was earlier thought to be of 7.2 magnitude on the Richter scale, but was later downgraded to 6.9. While no casualties or damage to property were reported, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has warned of possible tsunami waves in the region.
"Hazardous tsunami waves from this earthquake are possible within 300 km (186 miles) of the epicenter along the coasts of Indonesia and the Philippines," the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said, according to Reuters.
However, it has said that the waves are unlikely to be higher that 30 cms.
The Philippines, along with Indonesia, lies on the Ring of Fire and hence witnesses earthquakes and volcanic eruptions quite frequently. The nation was rocked by a 7.1-magnitude quake in 2013, which left about 250 people dead and brought down hundreds of homes and historic buildings in Philippines.
The latest quake comes at a time when Indonesia is already reeling under the effects of a deadly tsunami, which hit the country on December 22. The waves, which killed about 450 people, are known to have been caused by the eruption of the Anak Krakatau volcano.
The nation's disaster management agency, on Thursday, December 27, raised the alert level to 3, the highest, after revealing that the eruptions had intensified in the last few days. The volcano is still showing activity and huge plumes of ash and lava have been seen billowing into the air.
The region is also receiving heavy rains and the sea too has been extremely rough, raising concerns that the volcanic activity could trigger a second tsunami.
In addition, residents have also been asked to be careful of the volcanic dust hitting the ground along with the rainfall. ''When the dust rains down, civilians are advised to put on a mask and glasses when outside the house,'' the Boston Globe quoted Antonius Ratdomopurbo, the secretary for the ministry's geology department, as saying.
A state of emergency has also been put in place until January 4. ''People are advised to keep calm and stay alert,'' said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for Indonesia's National Disaster Management Agency.