A 7-magnitude earthquake that shook the Philippines’ main island of Luzon on Wednesday left at least two people dead and about 30 others injured.
One person has been reported dead in Benguet province in the northern Philippines, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). At least five injuries were recorded by local officials in the province of Benguet.
A 25-year-old man was also murdered, according to Jocelyn Bernos, the governor of the province of Abra, after being pinned under a concrete slab in Bangued. According to what she said in a radio broadcast, at least 25 people had minor earthquake injuries, according to the Xinhua news agency.
According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), a 7-magnitude earthquake shook the northern Philippine province of Abra at 8:43 in the morning local time (0043 GMT).
The epicenter was the village of Lagangilang, and the institution first recorded the magnitude as 7.3. An amended report said that the earthquake occurred at a depth of 17 kilometers and relocated the epicenter to Tayum town.
Many regions of the main Luzon Island felt the tremor, including Metro Manila, where tall structures shook and rail service was disrupted. Numerous other provinces, including as Ilocos Sur, Pangasinan, Nueva Vizcaya, Bulacan, Laguna, and Cavite, also felt it.
In the capital region, panicked employees in offices, including the presidential palace, ran out of the buildings.
Mayor of La Paz town in Abra province Joseph Bernos said the quake damaged many concrete houses, buildings and infrastructure in the province. “I received reports that there were massive damages in our province,” he told a radio interview, adding that some buildings at the University of Abra were also damaged.
In Ilocos Sur province’s Vigan City, a popular tourist destination noted for its restored Spanish colonial and Asian architecture on the west coast of Luzon island, the tremor also caused damage to century-old buildings.
The important route that connects Baguio City to Manila, also in the northern Philippines, known as Kennon Road, was reportedly blocked while the extent of the damage was being determined.
The destroyed area will be visited by Philippine President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos later on Wednesday, according to his press secretary Rose Beatrix Cruz-Angeles.
Chief PHIVOLCs Renato Solidum issued a warning that the tectonic earthquake would set off aftershocks and potentially result in harm like landslides. He exhorted the populace and the local government representatives to exercise caution.
“Make sure to inspect the buildings for cracks and watch out for landslides, especially when it rains,” he told a news conference, urging villagers to leave areas prone to landslides.
The Philippines has frequent seismic activity due to its location along the Pacific “Ring of Fire.”
On July 16, 1990, northern Luzon was shaken by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake that caused a 125-km-long ground rupture that stretched from Aurora province to Nueva Vizcaya, killing around 1,200 people and damaged scores of buildings and houses.
(with inputs from IANS)