Strong and shallow M6.2 earthquake hits near the coast of Philippines

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A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the PHIVOLCS as M6.2 hit near the cost of Burgos, Surigao Del Norte, Philippines at 15:06 UTC (11:06 local time) on March 8, 2019. The agency is reporting a depth of 16 km (9.9 miles). The USGS is reporting M6.0 at a depth of 54.5 km (33.8 miles); EMSC M6.0 at a depth of 40 km (24.8 miles). This earthquake is expected to have a low humanitarian impact based on the magnitude and the affected population and their vulnerability.

It was followed by 3 aftershocks – M3.5, M3.7 and M2.7 over the next 51 minutes.

According to the USGS, the epicenter was located 40.9 km (25.4 miles) N of Santa Monica (population 2 284), 81.2 km (50.4 miles) SSE of Guiuan (population 11 041) and 92.2 km (57.3 miles) NE of Surigao (population 87 832), Philippines.

There are 560 000 people living within 100 km (62 miles) and 21 000 within 50 km (31 miles).

897 000 people are estimated to have felt light shaking and 1 544 000 weak.

Damage is not expected, PHIVOLCS said.

The USGS issued a green alert for shaking-related fatalities and economic losses. There is a low likelihood of casualties and damage.

Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are a mix of vulnerable and earthquake resistant construction. The predominant vulnerable building types are unknown/miscellaneous types and heavy wood frame construction.

Recent earthquakes in this area have caused secondary hazards such as landslides that might have contributed to losses.

Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking

Selected cities exposed

Regional seismicity

Featured image credit: Google, TW/SAM

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