Philippines earthquake: Multiple deaths as 5.9 tremors rock Batanes region

Twin earthquakes hit the the province of Batanes within hours of each other on Saturday morning - causing devastation

ByTiffany Lo

  • 03:42, 27 JUL 2019
  • UPDATED04:09, 27 JUL 2019


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An earthquake and aftershock have rocked islands off the north of the Philippines - killing eight people and injuring 60.

An initial quake of magnitude 5.4 struck around 4:16am local time, followed just under four hours later by an aftershock of magnitude 5.9 in the Batan islands, according to Philippine government data.

The first quake killed five people and injured eight with three more persons killed in the aftershock, Ricardo Jalad, executive director of the disaster agency, told Reuters.

Local sources then said seven have died in total.

Some buildings partially collapsed in the tourist islands, Jalad said.

Two earthquakes hit Philippines on Saturday

Both earthquakes struck the islands hours after each other


LOOK: The ITBAYAT Church in Batanes following 5.4 magnitude and 6.4 magnitude earthquake that struck the country’s northernmost community on Saturday, July 27. | Via PIA Region 2



6:27 PM - Jul 26, 2019
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Raul de Sagon, mayor of Itbayat town told a local radio station: "The wounded are still being brought in."

He added that other residents were remaining the town plaza due to the strong quake that had damaged older buildings and houses made of thick limestone.

A damage assessment team was about to be deployed when the aftershock struck the region and rescuers were diverted to help residents, according Mr de Sagon.



· 3h

Replying to @MovePH

Magnitude 6.4 aftershock felt in Itbayat, Batanes at 7:38 am.



EARLIER: Aftermath of the magnitude 5.4 earthquake that rocked Itbayat, Batanes at 4:16 this morning. Initial report from @piaregion2 confirmed 5 dead and 13 injured.

Photo by Agnes Salengua NIco

5:22 PM - Jul 26, 2019
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The US Geological Survey shows the location of a magnitude 5.9 earthquake (Image: USGS/HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/REX)READ MORE

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The US Geological Survey recorded the earthquake and said no tsunami alerts were issued.
The military was also deploying an aircraft to send supplies and bring out injured.

Residents were seen searching for people who might be trapped under rubble.

Edna Gato, a school teacher in Itbayat town, said:

"New houses were damaged and the old houses which we were
preserving were completely destroyed.

"It's traumatic..we're still feeling strong aftershocks."

The historic Sta Maria de Mayan Church was seriously damaged after the first earthquake struck.

Pictures shows the bell tower tilted to one side, possibly to fall off later.

The front wall of the church were cracked open with some of the concrete came off.

Police sergeant Uzi Villa said most of the people were at home when the earthquake struck.

He told AFP: "We saw houses shaking. Some of the walls of the houses collapses and fell on the victims.

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

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