Philippines' 7.3 magnitude earthquake causes widespread panic, high rise buildings evacuated

US Geological Survey said that no tsunami alert was issued.

Massive 7.9 earthquake strikes off Papua New Guinea, tsunami alert cancelled
Picture for representation Reuters

Several people were evacuated from buildings in Sabah after a major undersea earthquake, with a magnitude of 7.3, struck the southeast of the Philippines at around 2.13pm on 10 January. However, no tsunami alert was issued, reported the US Geological Survey (USGS).

The epicentre of the quake was in the Celebes Sea at a depth of 613km and the tremors were felt all the way in the west coast in Sabah.

According to Malay Mail, people rushed out of office building and markets. The Sabah Electricity office and Centre Point Sabah shopping mall were evacuated in a hurry as soon the earthquake struck. "The windows in my office were rattling for 10 seconds!" said an employee who was working in the Centre point building, according to the new media.

"My building was swaying and I got dizzy," added another worker.

It was also reported that personnel from the State Fire and Rescue Services in Kota Kinabalu are checking buildings including the Wisma Wanita, Wawasan Plaza, Wisma Innoprise and the state post office headquarters.

In 2015, 18 people died in Sabah after a 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck the area. Aftershocks from the quake continued for months and caused lots of hardship for villagers who were settled at the foothills.