At least 26 injured in 6.4-magnitude earthquake in Philippines | News

The quake was felt as far away as the capital, Manila, more than 330 km south of the epicenter.

At least 26 people were injured in a 6.4-magnitude earthquake that shook the northern Philippines, forcing the closure of an international airport, sending panicked residents into the streets and badly damaging a hospital.

The quake, which occurred at about 10:59 p.m. Tuesday (14:59 GMT) near the upland town of Dolores, was felt as far away as the capital, Manila, more than 330 kilometers (205 miles) to the south.

At least 26 people were injured in Ilocos Norte, home of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., where the international airport in the capital, Laoag, was ordered temporarily closed on Wednesday due to earthquake damage, police and civil aviation officials said.

(The island)

The president – also known as Bongbong – warned of aftershocks on Wednesday and advised people, in a tweet, to stay away from tall structures.

The patients were evacuated from the 200-bed Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital in the city of Batak, about 60 kilometers (37 miles) north of the epicenter, which suffered some of the worst damage reported to date.

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At least two towns in Cagayan province temporarily lost power due to damaged power lines. Damage to a number of bridges and roads in remote provinces.

In the town of La Paz in Abra, a century-old Christian church was damaged, parts of its belfry collapsed and some walls cracked, leaving rubble strewn across the grassy churchyard.

“Buildings were shaking and people ran outside,” said Dolores Township Police Officer Jeffrey Blanes.

A member of the public in the municipality of Abari, which is located more than 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the epicenter, posted on the website of the Euro-Mediterranean Seismological Center (EMSC) that it was the most severe tremor they experienced.

“Longest earthquake I have ever felt in my life. Thank God we are safe. Keep them all safe.”

Pictures of collapsed ceilings in some hospital rooms, as well as dozens of patients waiting in chairs on the corridor outside, were posted on the local fire service’s official Facebook page.

“The authorities forced us to leave the building while they checked the safety of the building… We are currently carrying out a damage assessment,” hospital worker Tom Tabiji told AFP by phone.

The civil defense office in Abra province, where Dolores is located, said there were no immediate reports of casualties, but the extent of the damage would not be known until morning.

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“We are not able to do a comprehensive assessment of the impact now because it is night time and we are also thinking about the safety of our people,” Joel de Leon, a rescuer in Abra, told AFP by phone.

A woman walks past a destroyed church following an earthquake in Banguid, Abra Province, Philippines, in July 2022 [File: Lisa Marie David/Reuters]
A woman walks past a destroyed church following an earthquake in Banguid, Abra Province, Philippines, in July 2022 [File: Lisa Marie David/Reuters]

Eleven people were killed and hundreds injured in July when a 7.0-magnitude earthquake rocked the mountainous province of Abra, causing landslides and landslides. In October 2013, a 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck the central island of Bohol, killing more than 200 people.

Earthquakes are a daily occurrence in the Philippines, which lies along the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of intense seismic and volcanic activity that extends from Japan through Southeast Asia and across the Pacific Basin.

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