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A 7-magnitude earthquake in the northern region of the Philippines early Wednesday morning has left at least four people dead and dozens more injured.
The earthquake created small landslides and damaged buildings. The quake was centered in the mountainous area of the Abra province, according to the head of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Renato Solidum.
At least 25 people were reportedly injured in Abra. Several structures suffered cracked walls, including some buildings that collapsed in Abra.
“The ground shook like I was on a swing and the lights suddenly went out. We rushed out of the office, and I heard screams and some of my companions were in tears,” Michael Brillantes, a safety officer of the Abra town of Lagangilang, said.
“It was the most powerful quake I’ve felt, and I thought the ground would open up,” he continued.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who took office less than a month ago, plans to visit Abra on Thursday to meet with victims and local officials.
The tremor had forced hospital patients and medical staff in the city of Manila to evacuate. They were later instructed to go back inside after engineers discovered only a few minor cracks on the structure’s walls.
The earthquake was initially believed to be a 7.3 magnitude quake but was later lowered following further analysis. It started because of movement in a local fault that extends 10 miles deep.
The Philippines is located along an arc of faults around the Pacific Ocean where many of the world’s earthquakes take place. The region also falls victim to about 20 typhoons and tropical storms each year, making it one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.