A massive earthquake in the northern Philippines has killed at least four people and injured sixty more, according to the country’s interior minister on Wednesday.
The country’s biggest island and most populous island, Luzon, was affected by the 7.1-magnitude earthquake at a shallow depth of 10 kilometers, resulting in minor landslides and the collapse of several homes in the hilly and sparsely inhabited province of Abra.
The tremors caused high-rise towers to shake more than 400km (249 miles) away in the capital, Manila, which is located on the south of the island.
The quake also damaged heritage buildings in Vigan, a city on the west coast of Luzon noted for its old Spanish colonial architecture.
The tremor was felt in Manila as well, where several buildings were evacuated and some individuals were forced to leave from the 30th story of one structure, and the city’s metro rail systems were shut down during rush hour.
Among those killed was a man in Abra who was struck by falling cement slabs while inside his home. At least 25 other people were hurt, most of whom were hospitalised, according to officials.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr, whose hometown is in the northern Philippines, ordered rescue and relief teams to be deployed to Abra and had planned to fly to the devastated area, but subsequently indicated he would postpone the trip so as not to disrupt emergency response efforts.
The US Geological Survey (USGS) said the earthquake’s epicentre was about 11km (7 miles) east-southeast of the town of Dolores