Magnitude 5.1 quake damages some buildings in Surigao City

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 11) — Several structures were damaged by the magnitude 5.1 earthquake that shook Surigao City and other towns in Surigao del Norte province past midnight on Wednesday.

The quake caused cracks in government and private structures in Surigao City, where the tremor was felt at intensity 5. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) considers this "strong."

Photos obtained by CNN Philippines showed cracked walls and shattered glass doors and windows at the Surigao City Hall, Surigao City Pilot School, and a private warehouse.

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A water tank of the Surigao City Pilot School also collapsed.

Surigao City Vice Mayor Alfonso Casurra said classes in all levels in public schools were suspended as Phivolcs warned of possible aftershocks. At least seven aftershocks were reported as of 7 a.m., Casurra said.

"Generally ang sitwasyon dito sa Surigao City ngayon, normal na (The situation is generally back to normal now)," Casurra said, noting that power outages only lasted for about an hour.

In nearby San Francisco town, the earthquake tore down an abandoned school building of the San Nicolas High School, which was first damaged by an earthquake last year.

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The quake struck an area off San Franciso at 12:24 a.m. on Wednesday, Phivolcs said.

Phivolcs said the quake was tectonic - or there was a movement in the Earth's crust - with a depth of 17 kilometers. Tremors feel stronger when quakes have lower depth.

It was also felt at intensity 4 in Pintuyan, Southern Leyte and intensity II in Palompon, Leyte.

A magnitude 4.7 also hit San Francisco Tuesday afternoon, forcing students of the Surigao City National High School out of their classrooms.

Surigao City was also hardly hit by a magnitude 6.7 quake in February last year.