A powerful 7.1 magnitude earthquake shook the Philippine island of Luzon this Wednesday (27) – Tuesday night, 26, in Brasilia -, killing at least 4 people, injuring 60 others and damaging buildings in Abra province, in north, and causing strong tremors in the capital, Manila.
Two people died in Benguet province, one in Abra province and one more in another province, Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos told a news conference.
Damaged building after strong earthquake hit Bangued, Abra province, northern Philippines — Photo: AP Photo
The quake occurred 11 km southeast of the city of Dolores and at a depth of 10 km, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
“Despite the sad reports of the damage caused by the earthquake, we are ensuring a quick response to those in need and affected by this calamity,” President Ferdinand Marcos Jr said on Facebook.
The earthquake struck near the Marcos family’s political stronghold.
Rescue workers walk over the wreckage in Vigan, Ilocos Sur province, Philippines, following an earthquake — Photo: Bureau of Fire Protection via AP Photo
A hospital in Abra province was evacuated after the building partially collapsed, but there were no reports of casualties there, officials said.
“We are still experiencing aftershocks. We have received reports of damage to homes. But so far no casualties,” Mayor Rovelyn Villamor of the town of Lagangilang in Abra province told DZRH radio.
Renato Solidum, director of the state seismology agency, told DZRH radio that strong aftershocks are expected.
“The focus of attention is on Abra and nearby provinces. This is a major earthquake,” Solidum said, adding that landslides were reported in some parts of Abra, particularly in the city of Manabo.
Landslide after earthquake in the Philippines — Photo: Harley Palangchao / AP Photo
Abra, home to nearly 250,000 people, is a landlocked province in the northern Philippines. Its deep valleys and sloping hills are surrounded by rugged mountains.
Eric Singson, a congressman in Ilocos Sur province, also in the north, told radio station DZMM that the earthquake was felt strongly there and lasted 30 seconds or more.
“I thought my house was going to fall down,” Singson said.
The earthquake damaged historic buildings in the town of Vigan, known for its old Spanish colonial architecture, on Luzon’s west coast.
Tourist Edison Adducul told the radio he was taking pictures of the bell tower of Bantay Church in Vigan when the earthquake struck, shaking the tower for up to three minutes.
Senator Imee Marcos said several churches were damaged. “The old bricks and coral stones fell from the Bantay Bell Tower,” he said.
The quake was also felt in Manila, where several buildings were evacuated, with some people forced to flee the 30th floor of a building, and the city’s rail systems were disrupted during rush hour.
Residents evacuate their apartments after they felt tremors caused by the earthquake, in Manila (Photo: JAM STA ROSA / AFP)