A 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck in the Celebes Sea on Tuesday afternoon but no immediate damage was reported, state seismologists said.
The tremor was recorded 223 kilometers southeast of Tongkil in Sulu at 2:13 pm, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said.
Aftershocks were expected from the quake.
The tectonic quake had a depth of 625 kilometers. Intensity II was felt in General Santos City.
Pacific Tsunami Center and Phivolcs said there was no tsunami threat from the quake.
“Based on all available data, there is no tsunami threat because the earthquake is located too deep inside the earth,” Phivolcs said.
In Kota Kinabalu, people ran out of multi-storey buildings after tremors were felt in eastern Sabah.
The tremors were felt in various parts of the east coast, including Sandakan and Tawau as well as in the state capital.
“When the tremors struck I thought my head was spinning,” said office worker Ricka Johan in nearby Sembulan.