UPDATED: Strong earthquake strikes Philippines, causes damage and possible victims

Filippino villagers inspect a damaged market in the quake-hit town of Padada, Davao Del Sur province, Philippines, 15 December 2019. According to Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), a powerful 6.9 earthquake rocked Padada on the 15 December. Scores of people were trapped inside the collapsed market. EPA-EFE/CERILO EBRANO

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A powerful earthquake struck near the southern Philippines city of Davao on Sunday, the U.S. Geological Survey said, but there was no threat of a tsunami.

The magnitude 6.8 quake was centered 61 km (38 miles) southwest of Davao on the southern island of Mindanao, at a depth of 28.2 km, the USGS said, revising down the magnitude from an earlier 6.9.

Police said a rescue operation had been launched at a heavily damaged market building near the 6.8 magnitude quake’s epicentre, which is about 90 kilometres (55 miles) from the major city of Davao.

At least 24 people had been taken to the hospital, but was not aware of any reports of deaths as search operations continued.

President Rodrigo Duterte, who is from Davao, was caught up in the earthquake but was unharmed, officials said.

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Via Reuters/USGS

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