(UPDATE 2) An earthquake was felt in Metro Manila and nearby areas on Friday, Christmas Day. There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.
The Magnitude 6.3 quake struck off Calatagan, Batangas at around 7:43 a.m. It was tectonic in origin (caused by movements in the Earth's plates) and though aftershocks were expected, it was unlikely to cause damage, PHIVOLCS said.
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It was felt in the city of Manila, jolting people at the Manila Cathedral, who were askd to leave the building. The 8 a.m. mass was pushed back to 8:15 a.m. When the mass-goers were allowed back in, they were briefed on emergency exit protocols.
"I hope you are starting to calm yourself," Father Kali Llamado said "We thank the Lord for keeping us safe in this place."
It was also felt in Binan, Laguna, according to a reportr correspondent there.
On Twitter, Lumindol was an instant trend, with some 12,000 posts at around 8 a.m.
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In the coastal city of Calatagan, about 90 kilometers south of Manila and near the epicenter, people attending mass remained calm as the earthquake hit, police chief Major Carlo Caceres told AFP.
"There was a pause in the church service, but the people did not panic," Caceres said. "This area is quake-prone and people are more or less used to them."
There were no reports of damage or casualties in the area, he added.
"The office furniture and equipment swayed, but nothing was broken," said policeman Allan Megano in the nearby town of Balayan.
The Philippines is situated on the Pacific "Ring of Fire", an arc of intense seismic activity that stretches from Japan through Southeast Asia and across the Pacific basin.
-- with a report from Agence France-Presse