Deadly earthquake of 7.1 magnitude hits Philippines.
Philippines, July 27- A massive earthquake of magnitude 7.1 richter scale strikes Northern Philippines, jolts felt strongly within the capital city, Manila on Wednesday. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the powerful earthquake struck the Philippine island of Luzon at 8:43 am local time (8:43 p.m. ET)
The epicentre was about 13 kilometres, South East of Dolores in Abra province with a depth of 10 kilometres leading to great loss of life and property. Initially, there have been no reports of damage or injuries. However it was later reported that at least 64 people were injured and five people were killed, two in Benguet province, one in Abra province, and two others in Kalinga and Cagayan Valley respectively. Among the deceased was a man who was killed by cement slabs falling upon him in his house in Abra, another, a construction worker who was also killed by debris of the buildings who succumbed in the strawberry-growing mountain town of La Trinidad in Benguet province, where most of the roads were blocked due to landslides and boulders.
Image representing the epicenter of the Philippines' earthquake
Around 173 buildings were damaged, among which was a hospital in Abra province. The building was partially collapsed and the people inside the hospital were immediately evacuated hence there was no casualties reported. Abra’s vice governor, Joy Bernos, shares photos of the same on her Facebook account.
Image showing after effects of the 7.1 earthquake.
Abra is home to almost 250,000 people and is a landlocked
province in the Northern Philippines. It is known as the “Natural Dye Capital
of the Philippines” for its natural dye producing materials found in abundance
which has been practiced through generations of the indigenous tribe called the
Itneg or the Tingguian people. It is place full of deep valleys and sloping
hills which are enclosed by rugged mountains.
Apart from that, the heritage buildings in the northern city of Vigan, a city known for its old Spanish colonial architecture, on the west coast of Luzon were also damaged. A video is also being shared on the social media like Twitter and Facebook which showed the city’s Bantay Bell Tower beginning to crumble as tourist runs from that area.
Bantay Bell Tower, a popular tourist spot at the city of Vigan during the 7.1 magnitude earthquake on Wednesday
A tourist named Edison Adducul told the DZMM radio that he
was taking photos of the Bantay Church Bell tower in Vigan when the earthquake
took place, shaking the tower for three minutes straight.
Senator Imee Marcos said several other churches were also damaged.
"The antique bricks and coral stones fell down from the Bantay Bell Tower," she said.
According to the state seismology agency, over 200 aftershocks have been felt and recorded, and around 58 landslides has been reported till now.
“Despite the sad reports about the damage caused by the earthquake, we assure the prompt response to the needs of our countrymen affected by this disaster.” said President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in his official Facebook page.
The tremors were also felt in the capital city, Manila where most of the buildings were asked to be evacuated, even some people were forced to evacuate and get out from the 30th floor of one building. Furthermore, the city's metro rail systems were also halted at the rush hour.
Philippines is known for its beautiful beaches and its scenic beauty. The powerful earthquake that took place today was not something unusual for the people of the Philippines as the place is also known for its frequently occurring natural disasters. It is located at the deadliest part of the earth i.e., the most seismically active Pacific Ocean’s Ring of Fire.
According to the National Geographic, “The Ring of Fire is a string of volcanoes and sites of seismic activity, or earthquakes, around the edges of the Pacific Ocean. Roughly 90% of all earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire, and the ring is dotted with 75% of all active volcanoes on Earth.”
Image showing Pacific Ocean's Ring of Fire. Source- National Geographic
One of the biggest earthquakes in the Philippines was on August 02, 1968 at 4:19 AM (local time) with an intensity of VIII in the Rossi- Forel Intensity Scale which rocked the town of Casiguran. Aurora.
This was considered by far the most destructive and severe earthquake that has been experienced in the Philippines during the last 20 years, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.
The last earthquake took place in October 2019 where three subsequent earthquakes were felt in Cotabato which ranged from a magnitude of 6.3 to 6.6. The first being the 6.3 magnitude on October 16 and the second one with 6.6 magnitude on October 29 and the third one being 6.5 magnitude on October 31, two days after following the first two.
At least six people were killed and hundreds were injured in this earthquake, leaving thousands of people homeless due to loss of infrastructure across the region.
Another one which followed the Cotabato earthquake was the 6.9 magnitude earthquake on December 15 at the Davao del Sur leaving at least 4 people killed from falling debris.