Earthquake hits Philippines’ Luzon island, rattling Manila | Earthquakes News


Shallow quake was measured at above 7 magnitude and shattered windows at the epicentre in northern Abra province.

An earthquake has hit the northern Philippines, shattering windows at its epicentre and causing high-rise towers to shake more than 300km (185 miles) away in the capital Manila.

The quake, which struck the mountainous province of Abra on the main island of Luzon at 8:43am local time (00:43 GMT), was measured at a preliminary magnitude of 7.1 by the US Geological Survey (USGS), 7.2 by the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) and 7.3 by the Philippines Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).

USGS said the earthquake’s epicentre was about 11km (7 miles) east-southeast of the town of Dolores.

Pictures shared on social media by local officials and residents showed some buildings collapsed into rubble with others leaning precariously, their windows shattered. Some cars were crushed by the debris and roads left cracked and damaged.

There were no immediate reports of casualties.

Police Major Edwin Sergio told the AFP news agency people in Dolores ran outside as the earth shook.

“The quake was very strong,” Sergio said, adding there were minor cracks in the police station building.

“The earthquake lasted 30 seconds or more. I thought my house would fall,” Eric Singson, a congressman in the northern Ilocos Sur province, told DZMM radio.

“Now, we are trying to reach people. … Right now there are aftershocks so we are outside our home,” he added.

Elsewhere in Abra province, a hospital was evacuated after the building partially collapsed.

“We are still experiencing aftershocks. We have received reports of damages to houses. But so far no casualties,” said Mayor Rovelyn Villamor in the town of Lagangilang in Abra province.

“We don’t have power supply because that’s automatically cut off due to danger,” Villamor told DZRH radio.

In Manila, service on the city’s metro rail systems was suspended after the earthquake, while the Senate and many high-rise office buildings and residential towers were also evacuated.

“People were already on the streets. They were in traffic, on their way to work or already in their offices,” said Al Jazeera’s Barnaby Lo who is in the capital. “This was an earthquake that was felt by millions of people – not only those in the northern Philippines.”

The Philippines is located on the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’, an arc of intense seismic activity that stretches from Japan through Southeast Asia and across the Pacific basin.


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