A 6.6-magnitude earthquake hits southern Philippines

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A magnitude 6.6 earthquake hit the southern Philippines on Sunday, the US Geological Survey said, a day after an even more powerful quake in the same region killed two people and triggered a tsunami alert.

The latest earthquake -- one of several strong aftershocks felt in the region since late Saturday -- hit at around 6:36 pm (1036 GMT) at a depth of 56 kilometers (35 miles) northeast of Hinatuan municipality on Mindanao island.

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It was the same area where residents had fled to higher ground the night before following a magnitude 7.6 quake.

At least two people were killed and several were injured after that quake, authorities said. It was followed by five major aftershocks of magnitudes exceeding 6.0 through Sunday, according to the USGS.

Hinatuan police Staff Sergeant Joseph Lambo said Sunday evening’s quake sent people rushing out of their homes again.

“They were panicking due to the memory of the previous night’s quake,” Lambo told AFP.

He said police were checking for any further damage or casualties.

Saturday’s quake triggered tsunami warnings across the Pacific region and sent residents along the east coast of Mindanao fleeing buildings, evacuating a hospital and seeking higher ground.

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