Disasters & Accidents

Philippines assessing damage, on alert following earthquake

Manila, Jul 28 (EFE).- Philippine authorities Thursday were continuing to assess the damage caused by the strong magnitude-7 earthquake that struck the country a day earlier and warned people about aftershocks and new tremors.

At least five people were killed due to the severe earthquake that on Wednesday morning shook the north of the island of Luzon, the most populous in the Philippines, where the capital Manila is located. At least another 131 people were injured and more of 20,000 were affected.

The Civil Defense was on red alert in Luzon to protect people from aftershocks in the most affected provinces to “provide assistance as needed,” Bernardo Alejandro, a Civil Defense spokesman, said in a press conference.

At least 798 aftershocks have been registered, with magnitudes between 1.5 and 5.4, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, for which authorities issued warnings about the risk of new tremors. They ruled out the possibility of tsunamis.

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Wednesday morning visited Abra province, the epicenter of the earthquake and therefore the most affected area, to assess the extent of the damage.

“I agree to what we usually do, work together with the local government so that we can make sure that there is no one else in need that we have not given help to,” the president said at a press conference.

The massive earthquake caused havoc in almost 30 cities, as well as in 868 homes, 61 schools and various infrastructure facilities.

The shock, recorded at 8:43 local time (00:43 GMT) Wednesday, was also felt in the capital and forced the suspension of classes in cities such as Baguio, Laoag and Vigan, among other cities north of Luzon.

The earthquake also produced large waves due to tremors in the sea and caused damage to several historic buildings in various towns in the region.

The Philippines is situated on the so-called “Pacific Ring of Fire,” an area that accumulates about 90 percent of the world’s seismic and volcanic activity, and is shaken by about 7000 tremors a year, most of them moderate. EFE


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