Philippine capital jolted by quake

An earthquake that struck east of the Philippine capital Manila on Friday set buildings swaying and sent scores into the streets, but authorities said they did not expect any damage.

The 5.2-magnitude jolt hit offshore near sparsely populated Polillo Island, about 130 kilometres (80 miles) from Manila, according to the US Geological Survey.

Buildings in the capital were briefly evacuated and trains halted while crews looked for any damage as several smaller aftershocks rumbled through the ground.

"This is a moderate-sized earthquake and we don't expect damage so far based on the intensity reports that we received," Renato Solidum, director of the nation's seismology institute, told CNN Philippines.

Though there did not appear to be any destruction the intense shaking at the epicentre rattled locals.

"Everyone rushed out of the buildings. We were terrified," Rezil Golbin, a civilian employee at the police office on Polillo Island told AFP.

"Even the prisoners at the jail cell here were shouting, 'Get us out of here!'" she added.

The Philippines is in the Pacific "Ring of Fire", an arc of intense seismic activity that stretches from quake-prone Japan through Southeast Asia and across the Pacific basin.