A powerful 6.8 magnitude undersea earthquake rocked the Philippines on Friday, Nov. 17, officials said. The quake occurred in the southern Mindanao region at 4:14 p.m. local time. Although initially logged as having a magnitude of 7.2, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) later downgraded the earthquake to 6.8m, local news reported.
The earthquake caused damage to some buildings and infrastructure in Davao Occidental province. There were also reports of landslides in some areas.
PHIVOLCS said that there is no tsunami threat from the earthquake. However, the agency is advising residents in affected areas to be prepared for aftershocks.
Geological Explanation of the Philippines Earthquake
The earthquake's occurrence can be attributed to the movement of two tectonic plates along the Mindanao Trench, a deep oceanic trench that runs along the eastern coast of Mindanao. These plates are gradually moving away from each other, and the earthquake occurred as a result of the plates suddenly slipping against each other.
The Philippines is situated within the Pacific Ring of Fire, a horseshoe-shaped belt of volcanoes and seismic activity that encircles the Pacific Ocean. This region accounts for approximately 90% of the world's earthquakes, making the Philippines particularly prone to seismic events.
The country experiences an average of 20 earthquakes per day, most of which are too small to be felt. However, stronger earthquakes occur occasionally, and these can cause significant damage. The 2013 Bohol earthquake, for instance, had a magnitude of 7.2 and caused widespread devastation in the region.