HomeWorldStrong earthquake hits northern Philippines

Strong earthquake hits northern Philippines


MANILA — A strong earthquake hit the northern Philippines on Wednesday morning, shaking buildings and causing some structures to collapse, authorities said.

The 7.0-magnitude quake struck at 8:43 a.m. at a depth of 10 kilometers, or six miles, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology. The epicenter was in the northwestern part of Luzon, the country’s most populous island.

“This is a big earthquake,” said Renato U. Solidum, director of the institute, in an interview with a local radio station. He added that it had been felt with “relatively moderate intensity” hundreds of kilometers away in the capital, Manila.

There were no immediate reports of casualties. But authorities released photos from Abra province, where the quake struck, showing damage to buildings, some of which had partially collapsed.

Other official photos from Baguio City, in nearby Benguet province, showed refugee patients on the grounds of a hospital after being evacuated. One was sitting in a wheelchair, attended by medical personnel.

Joy Bernos, deputy governor of Abra province, said in a radio broadcast Wednesday morning that people were still experiencing aftershocks about every 15 minutes.

The extent of the damage to Abra was not immediately clear. Ms. Bernos said that initial reports indicated that some bridges had collapsed.

The seismology institute initially reported that the quake had a magnitude of 7.3, but later lowered its estimate.

An archipelago of more than 7,000 islands, the Philippines lies along the so-called Ring of Fire, a region where tectonic plates sometimes come together to cause deadly earthquakes.



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