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7.0-magnitude earthquake kills five, injures dozens in northern Philippines

Originally Published: 26 JUL 22 21:36 ET

Updated: 27 JUL 22 22:15 ET

By Jessie Yeung and Kathleen Magramo, CNN

    (CNN) -- At least five people died and 64 others were injured after a powerful earthquake struck the northern Philippines on Wednesday, state-run Philippine News Agency (PNA) reported, citing authorities.

The 7.0-magnitude quake hit northern Luzon, the country's most populous island, at 8:43 a.m. local time (8:43 p.m. 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.

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.

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, PNA said, citing the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD).

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.

Abra is a landlocked region known for deep valleys and mountainous terrain.

In a statement, Rep. Ching Bernos, congresswoman for Abra province, said the quake "caused damages to many households and establishments," and "was also felt in various parts of Luzon and activated preemptive measures in many places."

Photos from Abra show 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.

Bernos said her office is monitoring the situation and assessing the extent of the damage, and urged residents to stay alert "in light of the possibilities of aftershocks."

Philippine President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. ordered an immediate dispatch of rescue and relief teams to Abra, and would visit the affected areas once he is "given the all-clear," his press secretary said in a news conference Wednesday.

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

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