Latest quake strongest since 1990, data shows

The 7.6-magnitude earthquake which shook islands in the Visayas and parts of Luzon Friday was the strongest earthquake recorded in the Philippines in over two decades, data from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) show.

Casualties and damages due to the quake, however, were minimal compared to the list dubbed the "Destructive earthquakes in the Philippines," posted on the Philvocs Website.

The Samar earthquake left only one dead and one injured in a landslide in Cagayan de Oro while forcing thousands of residents in Eastern Samar to evacuate over a tsunami warning.

It is topped by the 7.9-magnitude "killer quake" in Luzon in 1990, which killed over 1,621 persons in several provinces in Luzon, especially in the northern provinces.

Another 7.9-magnitude earthquake struck Mindanao in August 1976, causing a small tsunami in the Moro Gulf coastline. The earthquake-tsunami claimed the lives of almost 4,791 persons.

In August 1968, meanwhile, an earthquake shook the town of Casiguran in Aurora. The 7.3-magnitude shock killed 270 persons and led to the collapse of several buildings in Manila.

Two 7.1-magnitude earthquakes are in the list. These have been recorded in November 1994 in Oriental Mindoro, where 78 persons died, and in June 1990 earthquake in Panay, which killed eight.

Other earthquakes in the list were the March 1973 Ragay Gulf earthquake, with a magnitude of 7; the February 1990 Bohol earthquake (6.8); the August 1983 Laoag earthquake (6.5); the May 1996 Bohol earthquake (5.6); and the June 1999 Bayugan earthquake (5.1).

Two earthquakes which happened after the turn of the century are also in the list.

One is the 6.8-magnitude Palimbang earthquake in March 2002, which killed eight persons and injured 41 in the provinces of Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and South Cotabato.

In February 2003, a 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck the province of Masbate.

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