MANILA, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- Emergency evacuation was ordered after a strong earthquake hit central Philippine province of Samar on Friday evening, according to governor Paul Daza.
A major earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale jolted off the east coast of Samar province at 8:47 p.m. local time Friday. The epicenter of the quake was initially determined to be 146 km east of Samar with a depth of 34.9 km, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reported.
Cracks were found in some roads and bridges in northern Samar, though no casualties have been reported so far, local radio DZMM reported.
The level of tsunami warning is raised to 3 for six Philippine provinces fronting the Pacific Ocean. People in coastal areas are strongly advised to immediately evacuate to higher ground, the Philippine National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said.
"We have confirmed a 16 centimeter wave reported in Surigao island," Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology ( Phivolcs) chief Renato Solidum said on DZMM radio.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center lifted a tsunami alert for the Philippines and Indonesia later on Friday.
The Philippines sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" where continental plates collide, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activities.