MANILA, Jan. 22 (Xinhua): An offshore earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.5 struck Davao Occidental province in the southern Philippines on Saturday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said.
The institute said the quake, which struck at 10:26 a.m. local time, hit at a depth of 66 km, about 234 km southeast of Balut Island in Sarangani town.
The institute said the tectonic quake will trigger aftershocks and cause damage, but added that the quake did not pose a tsunami threat.
The Philippines has frequent seismic activity due to its location along the Pacific "Ring of Fire".
In another development, the Covid-19 issue in the Philippines is getting worst.
The Philippines' Department of Health (DOH) reported 32,744 new Covid-19 infections on Friday night (Jan 21), raising the number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian country to 3,357,083.
The number of active cases rose to 291,618 as the country's positivity rate increased to 44 percent from 43.3 percent recorded in the previous day.
The DOH said 156 more people died from Covid-19 complications, pushing the country's death toll to 53,309.
Starting Friday, the government elevated three provinces in the northern Philippines and another in the central Philippines to alert level 4 on a scale of 5 due to the high Covid-19 transmission and hospitalisation rate.
Alert level 4 bars residents under 18, over 65 years old and those with underlying illnesses from going out of their homes.
Establishments like restaurants, barber shops, and beauty salons can operate at a maximum of 10 percent indoor venue for fully vaccinated individuals only and 30 percent outdoor capacity.
The government also raised the alert level of 15 more areas to 3 as the Omicron-driven surge spreads to areas outside Metro Manila. The new alert levels will stay until Jan 31. - Xinhua