A magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck the Philippines, triggering more than 50 landslides and killing at least five people.
The earthquake hit northern Luzon, the Philippines’ most populous island, on Wednesday morning at a depth of six miles, killing at least five and injuring 130 peopleaccording to the authorities.
The quake was centered in Abra province, a region known for its mountainous terrain and deep valleys. The Philippine National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Center said the impact caused about $687 million in infrastructure damage and affected more than 21,000 people.
“The jerk shook like I was on a swing and the lights suddenly went out. We rushed out of the office and I heard screams and some of my comrades were crying,” said Michael Brillantes, a security officer in Abra. the Associated Press. “It was the most powerful quake I’ve ever felt and I thought the ground would open up.”
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There were reports of 58 landslides that damaged hundreds of homes and several schools and hospitals. Several centuries-old historical sites, including the Vigan Cathedral and the Bantay Bell Tower (seen in the video below), also collapsed amid terrified residents and visitors.
A villager allegedly died after being hit by falling cement slabs at his home in Abra. Another man in Benguet province was crushed to death after a small building collapsed.
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President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who visited Abra on Thursday, said power had been restored in most areas of the region, but residents’ access to water remains a problem.
“I urge everyone to be vigilant and prioritize safety in light of the possibility of aftershocks that may be felt following the strong earthquake,” Abra representative Ching Bernos wrote in a statement. “We are monitoring the situation on the ground and gathering information about the extent of the damage to the province. My office is also actively coordinating with the appropriate authorities on what can be done to help families and communities that were severely affected by this earthquake.”
The Philippines is considered one of the world’s most disaster-prone countries, as it lies along the Pacific Ring of Fire where many earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur.
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Featured image via Edison M. Adducul / Philippine Information Agency
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