Philippines struck by 5.7 magnitude natural disaster

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Lucena City - After a swarm of earthquakes rocked parts of Southern Luzon on Saturday, more than 5,500 individuals were evacuated in different towns in Batangas province, a disaster official in the Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon (Calabarzon) region said Sunday.

He said Batangas province is experiencing "earthquake swarm or series of earthquakes" following the 5.4 magnitude quake that hit the province last Tuesday night.

Quakes of a magnitude of 5-5.9 are defined as "moderate" which means it can cause serious damage to poorly constructed buildings, though only slight damage would occur to other buildings.

A Reuters reporter felt a tremor for over a minute in the Makati business district of Manila.

The local television network, ABS-CBN broadcast live footage of frightened commuters, who were fleeing the passenger terminal at the port of Batangas, near the epicenters.

There were no immediate reports of casualties from the quakes, the strongest of which hit the coast close to Mabini, a resort town in Batangas famous for its marine life and coral reefs.

Two minutes later, a stronger magnitude 6 quake struck at 12 km northwest of Mabini. "We just stayed inside and waited for it to subside", the officer said in a phone interview.

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Regional Director Olivia M. Luces said the OCD-RDRRMC has raised its alert status in all operation centers to ensure the proper monitoring, coordination and response to the affected areas and disseminated natural disaster advisories since Saturday. "It is not at all related [to any big earthquakes]", he said.

Phivolcs said Intensity 7 was felt in Mabini, Batangas while Intensity 6 was felt in Calatagan, Nasugbu and Tingloy in Batangas.

Batangas City, Sto Tomas and Lemery, Batangas and Tagaytay City felt the tremor at Intensity V. "So there is no need to conduct relief operation", he also said.

The third quake was felt at about 3:29 p.m. with a preliminary magnitude of 4.1, said Gianan.

After the series of quakes, Batangas Gov. Hermilando Mandanas said Batangas City, Bauan, and Mabini were left without electricity.

Luces said one was reported injured from the quake - a male worker of a glass and aluminum shop who sustained injuries from broken glass.

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