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Moderate earthquake sparks panic in Philippine city

MANILA, Philippines >> A moderate earthquake injured one person, knocked out power and prompted the evacuation of dozens of patients from a hospital Monday in a southern Philippine city, officials said.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology measured the quake at magnitude 5.2, while the U.S. Geological Survey said it was 5.0.

The quake shook houses in Valencia City and other parts of Bukidnon province shortly before nightfall, prompting residents to run outside in panic as TV sets and other objects tumbled off tables, Office of Civil Defense Director Anna Caneda said.

“The shaking was brief but quite intense,” Caneda told The Associated Press.

About 40 patients in a hospital were helped out after the quake caused cracks in the walls. They stayed outside as officials confirmed that the three-story building was safe enough for them to return, Caneda said.

Valencia safety officer Alejandro Larosa said at least one resident was injured by falling objects.

Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology head Renato Solidum said movement of a local fault set off the earthquake, which was also felt in some regions near Bukidnon.

The Philippines is located in the Pacific “Ring of Fire” where earthquakes and volcanic activity are common. 

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