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Magnitude 7.9 quake off Philippines prompts tsunami warning

8:56 AM, Aug 31, 2012   |    comments
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(CNN) -- An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.9 has struck off the coast of the Philippines, the U.S. Geological Survey said Friday.

The quake prompted a tsunami warning for parts of Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Japan, Guam and other areas, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.

"An earthquake of this size has the potential to generate a destructive tsunami that can strike coastlines near the epicenter within minutes and more distant coastlines within hours," the tsunami warning center said.

The quake, which was about 20 miles deep, struck just before 8:50 p.m., the agency said. Its center was about 65 miles southeast of the town of Guiuan, in the Philippine province of East Samar.

Ed Serrano, the head of security at the Marco Polo Hotel in the city of Davao, about 250 miles south of Guiuan, said he felt the ground shake.

"The quake was very strong and the hotel guests were panicking. Most of them went outside," he said. "But now the situation is under control and we are waiting for official reports on how strong the quake was."

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

(CNN)

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