6.8-magnitude quake strikes the Philippines: USGS

The US Geological Survey said the magnitude 7.3 temblor was centred 30 kilometres (19 miles) southwest of Halabja, near Iraq's northeastern border with Iran

A 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck off the Philippines early Saturday, triggering a tsunami warning that was later lifted, Philippine and US authorities said.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage from the quake, which shook the southern region of Mindanao just before dawn, Philippine officials said.

It struck at a depth of 41 kilometres (25 miles) in Mindanao, more than 700 kilometres southeast of the capital Manila, at 4:23 am Saturday (2023 GMT Friday), the US Geological Service said.

"We do not expect major damage after this event," Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology chief Renato Solidum said on ABS-CBN television in Manila.

The state-run institute gave a higher magnitude reading of 7.2. The epicentre was about 53 kilometres off Mindanao's south coast, it added.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center initially advised that hazardous tsunami waves were possible off the coasts of the Philippines and Indonesia.

Less than two hours later the US and Philippine authorities lifted the tsunami alert, saying the danger had passed.

"There is no longer a tsunami threat from this earthquake," the US agency said.

However Philippine authorities said they were checking potential local damage.

The Philippines lies on the so-called Ring of Fire, a vast Pacific Ocean region where many of Earth's earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur.