A 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck the Philippines

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A 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck the Philippines on Wednesday morning in northern Luzon, the country’s most populous island. The epicenter was in the mountainous area about 13 kilometers (8 miles) southeast of the small town of Dolores, Abra province, with a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles). Hundreds of buildings were damaged. Several structures suffered cracked walls. At least five people have died – mostly in collapsed structures – and 60 others were injured. 58 landslides have been reported, and 218 towns in 15 provinces were affected by the earthquake. Debris covered the ground. The UNESCO World Heritage site Vigan was also damaged in the quake. Three bridges were destroyed in Abra. The earthquake’s impact was felt in the capital city, Manila. The tremor had forced hospital patients and medical staff in the city of Manila to evacuate.

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Philippine President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. ordered an immediate dispatch of rescue and relief teams to Abra, and will visit the affected areas on Thursday. “Despite the sad reports about the damages caused by the earthquake, we are assuring quick response to those in need and affected by this calamity,” he said in a Facebook post. Many of the world’s earthquakes take place in the Pacific Ocean. A magnitude 7.7 quake killed nearly 2,000 people in the northern Philippines in 1990.