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MANILA, Philippines – A magnitude 7 earthquake hit Luzon on Wednesday, July 27, causing the collapse of multiple structures, triggering massive landslides along the nothern region and evacuations in communities.
The earthquake was initially pegged at magnitude 7.3, and had struck at 8:43 am, with the epicenter located in the province of Abra. Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) chief Renato Solidum says the earthquake was most likely caused by the Abra River fault moving.
At least four people in Benguet, Abra, and Mountain Province died following the earthquake, according to Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos on Wednesday.
The temblor also left a trail of damage in parts of Luzon. Among those that were not spared by the earthquake were ancient churches and bell towers located in the northern provinces of the Philippines.
Below are photos from parts of Abra and other affected areas in Luzon.
In Bangued, capital town of Abra, citizens were evacuated to the town plaza. A welfare service desk was set up to provide first aid and medical assistance to injured Abreños immediately after the earthquake. The citizens remain evacuated three hours after the earthquake hit in anticipation of the aftershocks.
The Operations Center Building in La Paz, Abra, was also badly damaged, though Philippine Information Agency Abra said nobody was hurt.
Some portions of pavements at Burnham Park, Baguio City have been damaged, with cracks and fissures.
At least 19 patients, together with the watchers, of Northern Benguet District Hospital-Buguias were evacuated following the earthquake. The hospital will only be catering emergency cases until further notice.
As of 11:32 am, retrieval and rescue operations by the Bureau of Fire Protection were underway in La Trinidad, Benguet. In Brgy Buyagan, La Trinidad, Benguet, a construction worker died when a building under construction collapsed.
Heritage houses along Calle Crisologo in Vigan City were also damaged by the earthquake. Following earthquake, they are temporarily closed.
Multiple houses, properties, and structures cracked and were toppled in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur.
Several areas in Cervantes, Ilocos Sur, and Santiago, Ilocos Sur, also sustained damage.
As of 12:43 pm, Licuan-Baay (Abra) MDRRM Council updated that multiple roads were made impassable, with reported stranded travelers along major roads.
Landslides blocked off roads along the Tocucan-Sadanga section of the Bontoc-Kalinga Road with debris, rendering the roads impassable. The Tocucan-Bontoc Road was already cleared and made passable as of 12:58 pm.
– with reports from Czecilia De Leon/Rappler.com
Czecilia De Leon is a Rappler intern from CIIT College of Arts and Technology. She is a 4th year Multimedia Arts student, focusing on video graphic motion.