HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Three major earthquakes shook the southern Philippines Friday afternoon, all within the span of about one hour's time. The quakes were centered so deep in the earth however, that even though the magnitude was strong, they did not spawn any tsunami or cause damage on the ground
The epicenters of the quakes were in the Moro Gulf off the island of Mindanao, 95 miles east of Zamboanga and 570 miles south-southeast of Manila. The USGS estimated that around 21 million people likely perceived weak shaking as a result of the three large earthquakes, but said they were too deep to cause any damage.
"The origin of the quake was 606 kilometers (375 miles) underground so it was barely felt," said Renato Solidum Jr., Director of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology. The October 2006 earthquake which struck off the Big Island was centered at a depth of just 18 miles.
The first quake struck at 12:08 PM Friday Hawaii time, measuring 7.3 in magnitude.11 minutes later, an aftershock of 5.4 struck. Then at 12:51 PM a powerful 7.6 quake struck in the same region. A third major temblor hit at 1:15, that quake measuring 7.4.
On August 16, 1976, a massive 8.0 magnitude earthquake struck in the Moro Gulf. More than 7,000 people were killed, the majority died in a tsunami surge estimated at 15 feet in height.