Today, municipal and disaster relief officials in the Philippines said that a strong earthquake shook the northern part of the country, leaving up to eight people dead in various collapsed buildings.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said that the quake had registered a magnitude of 6.1 and had been centred near the town of Castillejos in Zambales Province, located west of Manila. It struck shortly after 5 in the afternoon, as private businesses an government offices were closing for the day.
Reportedly, a spokesman for the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, RJ Mago, informed a local radio station that five people were crushed to death after a wall in a four-story supermarket collapsed in the town of Porac, northwest of Manila.
He said that an older woman and her granddaughter who were one of those who were injured at the supermarket had been taken to a hospital and were already in good condition.
The governor of the northern province of Pampanga, Lilia Pineda, disclosed that she had received some reports that the quake had killed eight people there and had knocked out the power.
She stated: “Almost all concrete electric posts in the villages of Lubao town have fallen down.”
The quake was felt in varying intensities across Manila, where news outlets reported that workers were panicking while fleeing tall office buildings. It was also intense in Lipa, a city south of Manila; in Malolos and Obando, north of the capital; and in the town of Magalang in Pampanga Province. At least 25 provinces and urban centers recorded tremors.
an official at the Department of Science and Technology, Renato U. Solidum Jr., said that even though the quake had not caused extensive damage, it could produce many aftershocks.
He stated: “This earthquake is not a major earthquake, but it’s a strong earthquake.”
He added: “This is already far from Metro Manila but a little bit shallow so we can feel it.”
Seventeen aftershocks were recorded by the state seismology institute.
Due to its location on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, the Philippines is prone to volcanic eruptions and earthquakes that are caused by the movement of tectonic plates.
In October 2013, almost 100 people were killed after a powerful earthquake struck the central island of Bohol.