Philippines earthquake: 7.0-magnitude quake in Abra kills five, injures 130

The 7.0-magnitude quake hit northern Luzon, the country’s most populous island, at 8:43 am local time (8:43 pm ET), according to the US Geological Survey (USGS). The agency originally designated the quake 7.1-magnitude, before downgrading it to 7.0.

Its epicenter was about 13 kilometers (8 miles) southeast of the small town of Dolores, Abra province, with a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), according to USGS. Its impact was felt in the capital, Manila, more than 400 kilometers (about 250 miles) away.

More than 21,000 people have been impacted by the quake, which caused about $687 million of infrastructure damage, according to the Philippine National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Center.

Infrastructure was damaged across northern Luzon, including more than 400 homes, dozens of schools, several hospitals and bridges, and the centuries-old Vigan Cathedral and Banta Bell Tower, state-run Philippine News Agency (PNA) reported, citing the Office of Civil Defense (OCD).

Boulders fall during an earthquake in Bauko, the Philippines, on July 27.

Abra is a landlocked region known for deep valleys and mountainous terrain. Photos from the province showed buildings damaged by the quake and debris covering the ground. One building is seen with cracks along the walls, while another lies tilted on its side.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. landed in Abra on Thursday to inspect the damage. Power has been restored in the majority of areas, he said, but access to water remains a problem.

A damaged building lies on its side after an earthquake in the Philippines'  Abra province on July 27.

The quake triggered landslides, with photos showing large boulders and rocks tumbling onto a road in the town of Bauko, south of the epicenter. Other photos showed people working to clear the debris.

Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. said in a news conference that 58 landslides had been reported, and more than 200 towns in 15 provinces were affected by the quake.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said citizens should brace for any aftershocks, but added it had not issued a tsunami warning because the quake was detected inland.

Correction: An earlier version of this story missed Ching Bernos’ position. She is a Congresswoman for Abra province. An earlier version of this story also missed when the earthquake took place. It was Wednesday in the Philippines.

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