Strong earthquake strikes northern Philippines

A strong earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale struck the Philippine island of Luzon on Wednesday, severely damaging a hospital and buildings in a northern province and sending powerful earthquakes across the capital, Manila, the US Geological Survey said.

Officials said a hospital in Abra governorate was evacuated after the building partially collapsed in the aftermath of the quake, but no injuries were reported.

“We are still witnessing aftershocks. We have received reports of damage to homes. But so far there have been no injuries,” said Mayor Rovlin Villamor in Lagangilang town in Apra County.

Buildings were evacuated Wednesday in the capital, Manila, with residents feeling the quake from nearly 200 miles away.Jam Sta Rosa / AFP – Getty Images

“We don’t have a power supply because that cuts off automatically because of the danger,” Villamore told DZRH radio.

The Information Office in Abra Governorate published pictures on its Facebook page showing buildings that were severely damaged, and walls with huge cracks collapsing.

The US Geological Survey said the quake’s epicenter was about 6 miles east-southeast of the town of Dolores and occurred at a shallow depth of 6 miles.

The focus of attention is on Abra and the neighboring governorates. This is a big earthquake. We expect strong aftershocks, Renato Solidum, director of the state seismological agency, told DZMM radio station.

The quake was felt strongly by residents, Eric Singson, a congressman for the northern county of Ilocos Sur, told DZMM radio station.

“The earthquake lasted 30 seconds or more. I thought my house was going to fall,” he said.

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“Right now, we’re trying to reach people… at the moment there are aftershocks so we’re out of our house.”

The quake was also felt by Manila residents, the Transportation Department said, and the rush-hour subway system was shut down after the quake.

Media reported that the Senate building in the capital was evacuated.

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