Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – A 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck off southern Mindanao island, the Philippines, on December 29, raising fears of dangerous tsunami waves, but after about two hours, the tsunami alert was withdrawn.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) said that the quake struck 193km east of the Philippine city of General Santos, at a depth of 60km.

It initially said the magnitude of the quake was 7.2 but later downgraded it to 6.9.

There were no reports of casualties or damage from the earthquake.

Earlier, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said hazardous tsunami waves were possible within 300km of the epicentre, along the coasts of the Philippines, Indonesia, and the Pacific island nation of Palau.

Indonesian media also said there were no reports of damage.

The Philippines and Indonesia are both on the Pacific "Ring of Fire", a horse-shoe shaped band of volcanoes and fault lines circling the edges of the Pacific Ocean.

The most recent serious earthquake in the Philippines happened in 2013, killing over 220 people and damaging many ancient pagodas on central islands.

Meanwhile, Indonesia has been struck by two serious tsunamis this year. The first followed a 7.5 magnitude quake on the west coast of Sulawesi island in September. More than 2,000 people were killed. The second tsunami struck a week ago when part of a volcanic island collapsed in the Sunda Strait, between Java and Sumatra islands, generating tsunami waves that killed more than 400 people. -VNA