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6.3 earthquake hits Philippines, thousands flee area near Manila

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By Associated Press  with NBC News World News
People gather outside a shopping mall after a powerful earthquake rocked Manila on April 22, 2019. A powerful earthquake rocked the Philippines on April 22, sending thousands of people fleeing high-rises in Manila as buildings shook.   -   Copyright  Ted Aljibe

MANILA, Philippines — A strong earthquake has shaken the area around the Philippine capital, prompting thousands of people to flee to safety. There were no immediate reports of injuries or widespread damage.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the magnitude 6.3 quake struck northwest of Manila on Monday afternoon. It says the quake was centered near the town of Gutad on Luzon island.

Philippine Institute of Seismology and Volcanology chief Renato Solidum says the quake, which was caused by movement of a local fault, was not strong enough to trigger a tsunami or cause widespread damage.

However, some officials reported damage to a church in northern Pampanga province and said boulders rolled down a mountain, blocking a highway.

Thousands of residents and office workers dashed out of buildings in Manila.