Magnitude 6.5 earthquake hits Leyte

MANILA, Philippines (4th UPDATE) – A magnitude 6.5 earthquake struck the province of Leyte on Thursday afternoon, July 6.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the quake hit off Jaro, Leyte at 4:03 pm.

Phivolcs also warned that damage and aftershocks are expected.

The following intensities were recorded:

Dagami municipal administrator Boy Amante said there were no casualties or damage in the town proper, but disaster risk reduction officials and police are still checking the situation in more than 60 barangays there.

Marlon Tano, a Leyte farmer and journalist, told Agence France-Presse the quake knocked him off his feet at his eggplant farm in Borauen, a town near the quake's epicenter.

"It was so strong that I fell," Tano said.

"I saw buses and motorcyles stopping on the highway and people getting off them," he added.

In Cebu City, city administrator Nigel Paul Villarete suspended work at the city hall 4:25 pm onwards as engineers checked on executive and legislative buildings.

There was no immediate warning of a tsunami, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.

Leyte was the hardest hit when Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) struck in November 2013, bringing torrential rains and storm surges. Yolanda left 6,300 people dead and 1,062 others missing. (READ: IN NUMBERS: 3 years after Super Typhoon Yolanda)

The Philippines lies on the so-called Ring of Fire, a vast Pacific Ocean region where many of Earth's quakes and volcanic eruptions occur. – with reports from Jazmin Bonifacio & Agence France-Presse / Rappler.com