DFA reports no Filipinos injured in strong New Zealand quake

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No Filipinos were injured in the 6.6-magnitude earthquake that shook Wellington, New Zealand, on Friday afternoon, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

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Quoting Philippine Ambassador to New Zealand Virginia Benavidez, Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez said there were no reports of Filipino casualties in the quake.

Benavidez said the embassy will continue to monitor the situation. There are 36,000 Filipinos in New Zealand.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported a higher 6.8-magnitude earthquake but lowered it to 6.6, reports said.

The quake was felt in the capital city of Wellington, on the other side of the Cook Strait, which lies between the country’s two main islands.

Train operations were disrupted and people were trapped in elevators in the aftermath of the quake. But official said aside from heavy traffic, there were no serious injuries reported.

New Zealand sits at the southwestern edge of the Pacific “ring of fire,” an area of high seismic and volcanic activity that stretches up through Japan, across to Alaska and down the west coasts of North and South America.

In February 2011, a magnitude 6.3 tremor toppled buildings in the South Island city of Christchurch, killing 185 people and injuring several thousand.

BERNICE CAMILLE V. BAUZON

 

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