By Jim Gomez and Aaron Favila The Associated Press
In this photo provided by the Bureau of Fire Protection, rescuers check on a damaged house wall after a strong earthquake struck Santiago, Ilocos Sur province, Philippines on July 27. Bureau of Fire Protection via AP
A strong earthquake set off landslides and damaged buildings in the northern Philippines on Wednesday, killing at least five people and injuring dozens. In the capital, hospital patients were evacuated and terrified people rushed outdoors.
The seven-magnitude quake was centered in a mountainous area of Abra province, said Renato Solidum, the head of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, who described the midmorning shaking as a major earthquake.
“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,” said Michael Brillantes, a safety officer of the Abra town of Lagangilang, near the epicentre.
“It was the most powerful quake I’ve felt and I thought the ground would open up,” Brillantes told The Associated Press by cellphone.