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 powerful 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck the Philippine island of Luzon on Wednesday, the US Geological Survey said, badly damaging a hospital and buildings in a northern province and sending strong tremors through the capital, Manila.
There were no immediate reports of serious injuries or deaths from the quake, which struck about 11 km southeast of the town of Dolores and at a shallow depth of 10 km.
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)
The public information office of Abra province posted photographs on its Facebook page showing buildings badly damaged, with walls with huge cracks crumbling.
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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.