updated 10/8/2004 2:40:10 PM ET 2004-10-08T18:40:10

An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.4 shook Manila on Friday night, swaying high rises, knocking out power over a wide area and sending frightened residents into the streets. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

The shaking began at 10:36 p.m. and lasted for more than a minute. The epicenter of the quake was on Mindoro island, 55 miles south-southwest of Manila.

The temblor was felt over a wide area, including nearly 90 miles north of the sprawling capital on the main Philippine island of Luzon.

The U.S. Geological Survey in Colorado said on its Web site the magnitude was 6.4 at a depth of about 73 miles.

A magnitude 6 quake can cause severe damage, but the depth appeared to have eased the effect Friday’s temblor, said Renato Solidum Jr., director of the Philippine Institute of Vulcanology and Seismology.

‘Ring of Fire’ risks
Panicked residents and hotel guests poured into the capital’s streets. Police were easing traffic away from a condemned building that was cracking and dropping debris. Utility company Meralco reported widespread power outages, possibly due to damaged power lines.

The Philippines is along the Pacific Ring of Fire, where earthquakes and volcanic activity are common. A magnitude 6.2 quake shook Manila and surrounding areas of Luzon three weeks ago.

The Institute of Vulcanology and Seismology said Friday’s quake was believed to be in the same fault line, along the Manila Trench.

Solidum said that raised concerns that the area is becoming active.

“It means that part is moving. We could have more earthquakes, so we should always be careful,” Solidum said.

A magnitude 7.7 earthquake in 1990 killed nearly 2,000 people on Luzon.

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