6.7 Magnitude Earthquake Leaves More Than 40 Dead in the Philippines

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The U.S. Geological Survey registered a 6.7 magnitude earthquake that shook the Negros-Cebu area of the Philippines today. More than 40 people died from landslides and building collapses, according to Earthquake-Report.com. This earthquake was followed by several sizable aftershocks. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology rated the earthquake at 6.9 in magnitude.

* The USGS listed the location of the quake at 44 miles north of Dumaguete, Negros; 45 miles northwest of Tagbilaran, Bohol; and 49 miles southwest of Cebu, Cebu. This epicenter is 353 miles south-southeast of the capital of Manila.

* The depth was registered at 12.4 miles.

* The Japan Meteorological Agency initially gave a tsunami warning, but it was later canceled.

* Earthquake-Report stated the quake and aftershocks have resulted in 43 confirmed fatalities. Of that number, 29 were from landslides that were triggered by the quake and 10 more were attributed to the collapse of buildings.

* Earthquake-Report reported at least 40 people were missing and 100 injured. Many homes and buildings are damaged and nine bridges were damaged or destroyed.

* The Philippines are in a very complex seismic zone where the Eurasian plate and the Philippine plate converge together, squeezing several small micro-plates between them, as explained by Oregon State University. These convergent boundaries create volcanic activity and seismic activity.

* The earthquake history of the Philippines includes a 7.9 magnitude quake that struck the island of Mindanao and was the largest magnitude and deadliest quake in modern history in the Philippines in recent history.

* According to PHIVOLCS, that earthquake generated a tsunami that destroyed hundreds of miles of coastline and claimed around several thousand lives (some estimates put the total at 8,000) and left over 100,000 homeless.

* PHIVOLCS attributed the large number of casualties to the fact it struck in the middle of the night. The resulting tsunami struck the coasts of Minadano from several directions, causing confusion and catching residents unaware. The tsunami was reported to have come in three waves with wave heights reaching as high as treetops at some locations.

Tammy Lee Morris is certified as a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member and is a trained Skywarn Storm Spotter through the National Weather Service. She has received interpretive training regarding the New Madrid Seismic Zone through EarthScope -- a program of the National Science Foundation. She researches and writes about earthquakes, volcanoes, tornadoes, weather and other natural phenomena.

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