Eight people were killed and 60 others suffered injuries when an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.4 shook the Philippines’ northernmost island-province of Batanes at dawn Saturday, disaster relief officials said.
The initial temblor struck at around 4:15 a.m., followed by at least 11 aftershocks, with varying magnitudes of between 2.8 to 5.9 on the open-ended Richter scale that lasted before noon, the state volcanology office reported.
Officials did not issue tsunami warnings.
Those who died perished in the initial quake, when their homes of stone and wood collapsed in the initial temblor. The others were injured by falling debris.
The epicenter was traced near Itbayat, the largest town of Batanes province that has a population of less than 3,000. It is nearer to Taiwan than any Philippine landmass.
“The people were advised to stay outdoors for a time, in plazas and multipurpose halls to be safe from aftershocks,” said Ricardo Jalad, head of the National Disaster Risk-Reduction and Management Council in Manila.
Jalad said the death toll was likely not expected to go up. “There is no one missing that was buried or something like that. Everyone has been accounted,” he said.
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