Strong Earthquake Kills At Least 5 People In Northern Philippines
Dozens of people are still missing in a mountainous area of Abra province following the 7 magnitude quake.
A strong earthquake set off landslides and damaged buildings in the northern Philippines on Wednesday, killing at least five people and injuring dozens. In the capital, hospital patients were evacuated and terrified people rushed outdoors.
The 7 magnitude quake was centered in a mountainous area of Abra province, said Renato Solidum, the head of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, who described the midmorning shaking as a major earthquake.
Bureau of Fire Protection via AP
"The ground shook like I was on a swing and the lights suddenly went out. We rushed out of the office, and I heard screams and some of my companions were in tears," said Michael Brillantes, a safety officer of the Abra town of Lagangilang, near the epicenter.
At least five people died — mostly in collapsed structures. One villager died when hit by falling cement slabs in his house in Abra, where dozens of others were injured. In Benguet province, a worker was pinned to death after a small building that was under construction collapsed in the strawberry-growing mountain town of La Trinidad.
Hundreds of houses and buildings had cracked walls, including some that collapsed in Abra, where President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who took office less than a month ago, planned to travel Thursday to meet victims and local officials.
Marcos Jr. told a news conference he was in his office at the riverside Malacanang presidential palace complex when the chandeliers began swaying and making clanking sounds. "It was very strong," he said of the ground shaking.
In a chilling near-death experience, Filipino photojournalist Harley Palangchao and companions were traveling downhill in two vans in Mountain Province when they suddenly heard thunder-like thuds and saw an avalanche of boulders as big as cars raining down just ahead of them from a towering mountain.
Amid screams of his companions in their van to "back up, back up!" the 44-year-old father of three raised his camera in the front seat and snapped what he feared could be the final pictures of his life. The van in front of them was grazed by a boulder, injuring one, but he and others in the second van drove backward fast enough and escaped unscathed.
The Red Cross issued a picture of a three-story building precariously leaning toward a debris-covered road in Abra. A video taken by a panicking witness showed parts of an old stone church tower peeling off and falling in a cloud of dust on a hilltop.
Patients, some in wheelchairs, and medical personnel were evacuated from at least two hospitals in Manila, about 265 miles south of Lagangilang, but were later told to return after engineers found only a few minor cracks on walls.
The quake's strength was lowered from the initial 7.3 magnitude after further analysis. The quake was set off by movement in a local fault at a depth of 10 miles, the institute said, adding it expected damage and more aftershocks.
The Philippines lies along the Pacific "Ring of Fire," an arc of faults around the Pacific Ocean where most of the world's earthquakes occur. It is also lashed by about 20 typhoons and tropical storms each year, making it one of the world's most disaster-prone countries.
A magnitude 7.7 quake killed nearly 2,000 people in the northern Philippines in 1990.
Additional reporting by The Associated Press.
Pakistani police storm home of former PM Khan, arrest 61
Police broke open the door of Khan's residence and found automatic weapons, Molotov cocktails, iron rods and batons used in attacks on cops that week.
China's Xi to meet Putin as Beijing seeks bolder global role
Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine is expected to dominate Putin and Xi's discussions.
China says US is spreading disinformation, suppressing TikTok
The Biden administration has reportedly been calling for TikTok's Chinese owners to sell their stakes in the video-sharing app.
What living with long COVID is really like
Scripps News talked to a dozen people with long-term COVID symptoms about their current experience and their hope for the future.
Inside the stadium: Taylor Swift kicks off 'Eras' tour
The first weekend of shows in Taylor Swift's "Eras" tour is in the books, and fans and reviewers alike were not disappointed.
Navajo Nation fights for water access in front of Supreme Court
Navajo Nation was left out of Colorado River allocations as western states fight over its resources. Now they're fighting for reassignments.