Hundreds of aftershocks shake earthquake-hit northern Philippines - GulfToday

Hundreds of aftershocks shake earthquake-hit northern Philippines


Boulders fall as a vehicle negotiates a road during an earthquake in Bauko, Philippines on Wednesday. AP

Anxious residents slept outside after hundreds of aftershocks rattled the earthquake-hit northern Philippines, locals said on Thursday, as President Ferdinand Marcos Jr inspected damage in the region.

Five people were killed and more than 150 injured when a 7.0-magnitude quake struck the lightly populated province of Abra on Wednesday morning, authorities said.


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The powerful quake rippled across the mountainous area, toppling buildings, triggering landslides and shaking high-rise towers hundreds of kilometres away in the capital Manila.

"Aftershocks happen almost every 20 minutes, 15 minutes since yesterday," said Reggi Tolentino, a restaurant owner in Abra's provincial capital Bangued.

Many people are living in the streets because of the aftershocks.

"Many slept outside last night, almost every family."

Some families have been given modular tents to stay in. Marcos Jr has urged people to wait for their homes to be inspected before moving back.

Hundreds of buildings were damaged or destroyed, roads were blocked by landslides, and power was knocked out in affected areas.

But in Abra, which felt the full force of the quake, overall damage had been "very minimal", police chief Colonel Maly Cula told AFP.

"We don't have a lot of people in evacuation sites, although many people are staying in the streets because of the aftershocks," Cula said.

"Abra is back to normal."

Marcos Jr, who took office last month, arrived in Bangued on Thursday to inspect the damage and discuss the response effort with government, military and disaster officials.

More than 800 aftershocks have been recorded since the quake hit, including 24 that were strong enough to feel, the local seismological agency said.

Aftershocks were expected to continue for "several weeks", Renato Solidum, director of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, told a briefing presided over by Marcos Jr.

There would be "a lot" in the first three days, then "hopefully it will decline afterwards", he said.

Agence France-Presse


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