Philippines Struck by Powerful 7.1 Magnitude Earthquake, Kills 5, injures dozens

A strong earthquake left at least two people dead and injured dozens in the northern area of the Philippines, where the temblor set off small landslides and damaged buildings and prompted terrified crowds and hospital patients in the capital to rush outdoors, The British Guardian reported.

The 7-magnitude quake centered in the province of Abra in a mountainous area, said Renato Solidum, the head of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.

“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 epicenter.

“It was the most powerful quake I’ve felt and I thought the ground would open up,” Brillantes told the Associated Press by mobile phone.

A villager died when he was hit by falling cement slabs in his house in Abra, where at least 25 others were injured and were mostly confined in hospitals, officials said.

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