Strong earthquake rocks northern Luzon; 4 reported dead, rescue operations continue

The rescue operations continue after a magnitude 7.0 earthquake rocked the province of Abra in Luzon, Philippines.

According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), a magnitude 7.0 earthquake happened at 08:43 am Philippine time (12:43 am UTC), 3 kilometers west of Tayum, Abra. It was reported as a preliminary M7.3 before being downgraded.

The quake was a result of the forces that come as a result of the Philippine Sea Plate being subducted under the Sunda Plate, and the depth of it was relatively shallow; it was reported at 17km by PHIVOLCS, and was the result of oblique-reverse faulting.

The ShakeMap product indicating the intensity of the shaking in Luzon, courtesy of the US Geological Survey.

Multiple areas had reported intensities of the quake. Here are the list of areas that felt the quake with the corresponding rating of the Modified Mercalli earthquake intensity scale, courtesy of PHIVOLCS:

  • Intensity VII – Bucloc and Manabo, Abra
  • Intensity VI – Vigan City, Sinait, Bantay, San Esteban, Ilocos Sur; Laoac, Pangasinan; Baguio City
  • Intensity V – Magsingal and San Juan, Ilocos Sur, Alaminos City and Labrador, Pangasinan; Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya; Mexico, Pampanga; Concepcion, and Tarlac City, Tarlac; City of Manila; City of Malabon
  • Intensity IV – City of Marikina; Quezon City; City of Pasig; City of Valenzuela; City of Tabuk, Kalinga; Bautista and Malasiqui, Pangasinan; Bayombong and Diadi, Nueva Vizcaya; Guiguinto, Obando, and San Rafael, Bulacan; San Mateo, Rizal
  • Intensity III – Bolinao, Pangasinan; Bulakan, Bulacan; Tanay, Rizal
  • Intensity II – General Trias City, Cavite; Santa Rosa City, Laguna

The president of the Philippines, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., has ordered the immediate deployment of rescue and relief teams in areas affected by the earthquake. According to the Philippine government, 4 people has been reported dead in Benguet, Abra, and Mountain Province. At least 60 people are injured, most of which in Abra.

58 landslides were also reported to have happened after the earthquake, most in Abra; 173 buildings destroyed, with 33 in Baguio, 2 in Apayao, 62 in Benguet, 7 in Kalinga and 10 in Mountain Province, and three bridges destroyed, all in Abra.

We hope you are safe during the earthquake, and check your local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (DRRMO) for the latest updates. Our Earthquakes branch is also monitoring quakes as they happen worldwide, and you can see them in real time here:

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