Japan's weather agency issued a tsunami alert late Saturday for wide areas facing the Pacific including the prefectures of Chiba, Shizuoka and Kagoshima, after an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.7 hit off the southern Philippine island of Mindanao.

In the Philippines' Davao, an 8-centimeter tsunami was observed following the quake, which struck at 11:37 p.m., Japan time, an official of the Japan Meteorological Agency said at a press conference early Sunday in Tokyo.

A tsunami warning was also issued for the coastal areas of Surigao del Sur and Davao Oriental provinces, said the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology. Locals in the areas were told to evacuate to higher ground.

As for Japan, a tsunami of 1 meter high may reach Miyako Island and the vicinity in Okinawa as well as other prefectures, also including Aichi, Mie, Wakayama, Tokushima, Kochi and Miyazaki, early Sunday, the agency said.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage in the two countries.

While the institute put the quake at a magnitude of 6.9, it warned that "destructive tsunami is expected with life threatening wave heights."

The quake, which struck off the eastern coast of Mindanao, occurred at a depth of 32.8 kilometers, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The Japanese agency said other areas covered by the alert included the Izu island chain near Tokyo and the Ogasawara Islands in the Pacific Ocean, south of the Japanese capital.

Authorities in Japan and the Philippines warned the public to stay away from the coast until after the tsunami alerts are lifted.

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