8 killed after magnitude 5.9-quake rocks Batanes

8 killed after magnitude 5.9-quake rocks Batanes
The magnitude 5.9 quake caused damage to homes and other buildings when it struck Itbayat, Batanes at 7:38 a.m.
Steve Labrador, Executive Secretary of Gov. Marilou H. Cayco

MANILA, Philippines (Update 3, 10:23 a.m.) — Eight people were killed and dozens injured when twin earthquakes struck islands in the northern Philippines early Saturday while many were still asleep, local officials said.

The second quake — which was initially reported at magnitude 6.4 and was later lowered to 5.9 — caused damage to homes and other buildings when it struck Itbayat, Batanes at 7:37 a.m.

Aftershocks are expected but there are no threats of tsunami, the Philippine seismology office reported.

The powerful tremor was felt in the northernmost municipality a few hours after it was rocked by a magnitude 5.4 jolt at 4:16 a.m.

Mayor Raul de Sagon told AFP that eight people had been killed and around 60 others were hurt. The extent of their injuries was not immediately clear.Police sergeant Uzi Villa added that the timing of the quake meant many people were at home when the first quake struck.

"We saw houses shaking. Some of the walls of the houses collapsed and fell on the victims," he told AFP.

"Some people died because they were sleeping soundly since it was still early," he added.

Images in Philippine media showed collapsed homes, cracked roads and a damaged church.

The Philippines is part of the Pacific "Ring of Fire", an arc of intense seismic activity that stretches from quake-prone Japan through Southeast Asia and across the Pacific basin.

The country's most recent deadly quake occurred in April when at least 11 people were killed in a 6.3-magnitude temblor that hit a region north of the capital Manila, causing a supermarket to collapse. — with AFP


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