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5 dead, 131 injured in Philippine quake

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Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr on Thursday inspected damage caused by a powerful earthquake that left at least five dead and more than 100 injured in northern provinces.

The magnitude-7 quake struck the mountainous Cordillera region on Wednesday, triggering landslides and rock falls, damaging hundreds of houses and buildings, and cutting off power and communication lines.

Marcos Jr went to Abra province, where the quake’s epicentre was located, to visit victims, many of whom had camped out overnight amid hundreds of aftershocks, said Social Welfare Secretary Erwin Tulfo.

“The president also wants to personally witness search and rescue as well as relief operations of the agencies for the earthquake victims,” he added.

The national disaster agency said five people were killed, mostly after being struck by collapsed structures or debris, while 131 were injured by the quake that was also felt as far away as the Manila region.

Nearly 13,000 people were affected by the earthquake, which also damaged dozens of hospitals, schools, government offices, and roads and bridges that cracked.

The Philippines is located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, where about 90 per cent of the world’s earthquakes occur.

A 7.1-magnitude earthquake that killed more than 220 people in the central Philippines in October 2013, was the last major quake to hit the country.

In July 1990, more than 2,400 people were killed on the northern island of Luzon in a 7.8-magnitude earthquake, one of the strongest ever to hit the Philippines.

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Cecilia Odey

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