MANILA: A powerful 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck the northern Philippine island of Luzon on Wednesday killing four people, damaging buildings and sending strong tremors through the capital, Manila.
Two people were killed in Benguet province, one in Abra province, and one more in another province, Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos told a news conference. Sixty people were injured, he said.
The quake struck about 11 km (six miles) southeast of the town of Dolores at a shallow depth of 10 km (6 miles), according to U.S. Geological Survey data.
“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.
Renato Solidum, director of the state seismology agency, told DZRH radio station, strong aftershocks were expected.
“The focus of attention is on Abra and nearby provinces. This is a major earthquake,” Solidum said.
Abalos said 173 buildings were damaged and 58 landslides reported, with 44 of the 60 injured in Abra province.
A hospital in Abra province was evacuated after the building partially collapsed but there were no casualties reported there, officials said.
Abra’s vice governor, Joy Bernos, posted photos of the damaged Abra hospital on her Facebook account, which showed a gaping hole in its facade.
Other photos showed hospital beds, including one with a patient, being wheeled across a road and evacuated hospital staff.