Panic, damage as three strong quakes hit Philippines

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The quake struck near Batangas in Luzon, the largest and most populous island in the Philippines. "Pwede pong magkaroon ng ganyang quake swarms na mga ganyang lindol na posibleng magkakalapit ang magnitude pero hindi talaga major natural disaster", he said.

"I was in the pool taking diving lessons when the ground shook...."

More aftershocks are expected, according to Solidum but no tsunami warning was issued. "We just stayed inside and waited for it to subside", the officer said in a phone interview.

The earthquakes yesterday came four days after Tuesday's magnitude 5.5 tremor, also with Batangas as epicenter.

It also recorded quake intensities in following areas: Intensity 7 - Mabini, Batangas; Intensity 6 - Calatagan, Nasugbu and Tingloy, Batangas; Intensity 5 - Batangas City, Sto.

"We have not monitored any incident of that nature", Eleazar said in a text message.

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Movement was also felt in Batangas, Cavite and Quezon Province. But since the natural disaster is not that near Taal, there is no possibility [for Taal to be affected by the quake]. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, said the event was an "earthquake swarm" in a local faultline but had not been powerful enough to cause a tsunami. Tomas, and Lemery, also in Batangas, as well as in Tagaytay City.

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

The famous Taal Basilica, or the Minor Basilica of St. Martin of Tours, suffered another crack, this time a bigger one at the façade.

"Most of my neighbors left their homes and gave their respective accounts of what happened", she said in a text message.

It was uncertain if there were mountain climbers in the area when the quakes struck.

The Philippines sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire", where earthquakes and volcanoes are common. Last Febraury a quake of 6,7 hit Mindanao island and cause 8 dead and 200 injured. In 2013 a magnitude 7.1 quake killed 221 people in the Philippines.