Rubble from a damaged church is seen after a strong quake hit Bangued, Abra province, northern Philippines on July 27, 2022. (RAPHIEL ALZATE / AP)
MANILA – A strong earthquake in northern Philippines has killed four people and injured 60, the interior minister said on Wednesday.
Two people died in Benguet province, one in Abra province, and one more in another province, Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos told a televised news conference.
Abalos said 173 buildings were damaged and 58 landslides reported, with 44 of the 60 injured in Abra province.
"Despite the sad reports about the damages caused by the earthquake, we are assuring quick response to those in need and affected by this calamity," President Ferdinand Marcos Jr said on Facebook.
The quake hit close to Marcos family's political stronghold.
A hospital in Abra province was evacuated after the building partially collapsed following the quake, but there were no casualties reported, said officials
A hospital in Abra province was evacuated after the building partially collapsed following the quake, but there were no casualties reported, said officials.
Abra governor Joy Bernos posted photos of the damaged Abra provincial hospital on her Facebook account which showed a gaping hole in the front entrance facade. Other photos showed hospital beds, including one with a patient, wheeled across the road and evacuated hospital staff.
"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.
Renato Solidum, director of the state seismology agency, told DZRH radio station, said strong aftershocks were expected.
Map locating a 7.0-magnitude quake that struck the northern Philippines on July 27, 2022. (GRAPHIC / AFP)
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"The focus of attention is on Abra and nearby provinces. This is a major earthquake. We expect strong aftershocks," Renato Solidum, director of the state seismology agency, told DZMM radio station.
Abra, home to nearly 250,000 people, is a landlocked province in the northern Philippines. Its deep valleys and sloping hills are enclosed by rugged mountains.
Eric Singson, a congressman in the northern Ilocos Sur province, told DZMM radio station the quake had been felt strongly.
"The earthquake lasted 30 seconds or more. I thought my house would fall," said Singson.
"Now, we are trying to reach people …. Right now there are aftershocks so we are outside our home."
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The quake was also felt in Manila and the city's metro rail systems was halted at rush hour after the quake, the transport ministry said.
The senate building in the capital was also evacuated, media reported.