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A 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck the Philippines on Friday , according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), causing some buildings to shake and interrupting some Christmas Masses , but caused no damage or casualties.

The earthquake occurred in the province of Batangas, on the island of Luzon, at 07:43 hours (23:43 GMT), according to the USGS. The great depth of the earthquake (114 km) makes it unlikely that there will be significant victims or material damage, according to the US institute.

However, several witnesses said that some buildings in the capital, Manila, shook and that there were Christmas masses that were interrupted. “The religious service paused, but people did not panic,” explained Carlo Caceres, police chief of Calatagan, a city near the epicenter of the earthquake, 90 km south of Manila.

“There are often earthquakes in the region and people are more or less used to it,” he added.

The Philippines is located in the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, where collision of tectonic plates causes frequent earthquakes and significant volcanic activity.

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