MANILA, Philippines — A powerful 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck the Philippine island of Luzon on Wednesday, the US Geological Survey said, severely damaging a hospital and buildings in a northern province and sending strong tremors through the capital Manila.
A hospital in Abra province was evacuated after the building partially collapsed after the quake, but no casualties were reported, officials said.
“We are still experiencing aftershocks. We’ve received reports of damage to houses. But no casualties so far,” said Mayor Rovelyn Villamor in the city of Lagangilang in Abra province.
“We don’t have a power supply because it shuts off automatically when there’s a hazard,” Villamor told DZRH radio.
The Abra Provincial Public Information Bureau posted photos on its Facebook page showing severely damaged buildings with crumbling walls with huge cracks.
According to the USGS, the earthquake’s epicenter was about 6 miles east-southeast of the town of Dolores and occurred at a shallow depth of 6 miles.
“The focus is on Abra and the surrounding provinces. This is a major earthquake. We expect strong aftershocks,” Renato Solidum, director of the state seismology agency, told radio station DZMM.
Eric Singson, a congressman in the northern province of Ilocos Sur, told radio station DZMM the tremor was felt strongly.
“The earthquake lasted 30 seconds or more. I thought my house was going to collapse,” he said.
“Now we’re trying to reach people … Right now there are aftershocks, so we’re outside of our home.”
The quake was also felt in Manila and the city’s subway system was halted at rush hour after the quake, the Department of Transportation said.
The Senate building in the capital was also evacuated, the media reported.
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/powerful-earthquake-strikes-northern-philippines-rcna40161 A strong earthquake shakes the north of the Philippines