MANILA. A strong earthquake struck the north of the Philippines, causing at least two deaths and over twenty injuries and damaging several buildings: many people also poured into the streets in the capital Manila. The earthquake was of magnitude 7, an estimate lower than that of 7.3 reported at first, and had its epicenter in the province of Abra, in a mountainous area. “The ground shook like it was on a swing,” he told Associated Press Michael Brillantes, security officer of the town of Lagangilang, near the epicenter. The authorities are checking for damage or landslides in the mountain villages. Scientists expect aftershocks.
“It was the most powerful earthquake I’ve ever felt; I thought the earth would open up, ”she continued. The same official reported that many houses and buildings have cracks in the walls and some walls have collapsed.
The Philippines is located along the Pacific “belt of fire”, a fault arc in the Pacific where most of the world‘s earthquakes occur. It is also hit by around 20 typhoons and tropical storms each year, making it one of the most disaster prone countries in the world. A magnitude 7.7 earthquake in 1990 killed nearly 2,000 people in the northern Philippines.