Magnitude 7.1 earthquake rocks parts of Mindanao

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 21) — A magnitude 7.1 earthquake hit the waters off Jose Abad Santos town in Davao Occidental, with strong intensities felt in some parts of Mindanao Thursday night.

The tremor struck 231 kilometers southeast of Jose Abad Santos at 8:23 p.m., according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology or Phivolcs.

Intensity 5, considered by Phivolcs as "strong," was felt in General Santos City and the municipalities of Kiamba, Glan, Maitum, and Malungon in Sarangani province.

Intensity 4 or "moderately strong" was recorded in Davao City, Cotabato City, Digos City, Sta. Cruz in Davao del Sur, and the municipalities of Alabel, Maasim, and Malapatan in Sarangani province. Intensity 3 was felt in San Francisco in Southern Leyte, Datu Blah T. Sinsuat in Maguindanao, Zamboanga City, and Cagayan de Oro City.

Meanwhile, the tremor was "slightly felt" in Bislig, Surigao del Sur; the areas of Talakag, Kalilangan, Baungon, Malitbog, Don Carlos, Valencia City, and Maramag in Bukidnon; in Camiguin Island; Kidapawan City; Baybay City in Leyte; and the areas of Taguloan, Jasaan, Balingansag, Balingoan, Magsaysay and Gingoog City in Misamis Oriental.

Other areas in Mindanao and Eastern Samar had instrumental intensities, or those that were recorded by instruments but may not have been felt.

Phivolcs said the quake was tectonic in origin – or there was a movement in the Earth's crust – with a depth of 116 kilometers.

There's no tsunami threat from the quake but aftershocks are expected. An aftershock of magnitude 3.4 was recorded at 9:09 p.m., followed by another of magnitude 3.2 at 9:24 p.m. A total of 16 aftershocks were recorded as of 4 a.m. Friday.

Jose Abad Santos Mayor Jason John Joyce said the earthquake caused no major damage in the central part of the municipality.

"Kaka-check ko lang po sa mga major structures natin sa poblacion. No visible damages. Salamat, Panginoon [I just checked our major structures in the poblacion. No visible damages. Thank you, Lord.]," he said in a Facebook post.