Residents are fleeing after a strong earthquake struck the central Philippines, killing at least 43 and triggering a tsunami alert.
The 6.8-magnitude quake hit in a narrow strait just off Negros Island. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology issued the local tsunami alert for central islands, saying the quake could trigger a 3ft wave along the island's eastern coast as well as west of the country's second-largest city, Cebu.
The epicentere was closest to Tayasan, a coastal town of about 32,000 people flanked by mountains in Negros Oriental province. A child there died when a concrete fence of a house collapsed, said Benito Ramos, head of the Office of Civil Defense.
"So far one dead, but we could not yet account for the damage to buildings," Tayasan police officer Alfred Vicente Silvosa said.
He said there were still aftershocks "so we are outside, at the town plaza. We cannot inspect buildings yet because it's dangerous."
"I felt the building shaking, so I rushed out of the building. Our computers, shelves, plates, the cupboards, water dispenser all fell," he said.
People rushed out of schools, malls and offices during the quake, which hit at 11:49 am (3:49 am GMT).
The US Geological Survey said the quake was centered 44 miles north of Dumaguete city on Negros and hit at a depth of 29 miles. The area is about 400 miles outheast of the capital, Manila.
The Philippines is located in the Pacific "Ring of Fire" where earthquakes and volcanic activity are common. A 7.7-magnitude quake killed nearly 2,000 people in Luzon in 1990.