A major 7.9 earthquake has hit the sea area east of the Philippines and a tsunami warning has been issued for the Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan and Japan, US seismologists say.

The US Geological Survey said the quake had a depth of 33 kilometres and hit at 8.47pm (10.47pm AEST) about 140 kilometres east of the city of Sulangan.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology issued a statement at 11.05pm saying the earthquake did not pose a tsunami threat to the Australian mainland, islands or territories.

AFP