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Jan 10, 2:31 AM EST

Powerful undersea quake hits south Philippines, no damage


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MANILA, Philippines (AP) -- Philippine seismologists say an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 struck under the Celebes Sea off the country's south but was far too deep to cause any damage and casualties or generate a tsunami.

Renato Solidum of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology says the quake, which was set off by movement of oceanic plates 625 kilometers (387 miles) under the seabed, was slightly felt in southern General Santos city.

Solidum says the undersea quake was centered 223 kilometers ((138 miles) southeast of Sulu province and aftershocks were possible.

The Philippine archipelago lies in the Pacific "Ring of Fire," where earthquakes and volcanic activities are common. A magnitude 7.7 quake killed nearly 2,000 people on the northern island of Luzon in 1990.

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