Manila: A major earthquake struck the northern Philippines on Wednesday, the US Geological Survey said, shattering windows of buildings at the epicenter and shaking towers more than 300 kilometers (185 miles) high in the capital Manila.
No casualties or any major damage has been reported so far. The USGS said the shallow but powerful quake struck at 8:43 a.m. (0043 GMT) in the mountainous province of Abra on the main island of Luzon, after initially measuring the quake at magnitude 6.8.
Police Major Edwin Sergio told AFP that in Dolores, which felt the full force of the quake, frightened people ran outside their buildings and windows at the local market were smashed. “The earthquake was very strong,” Sergio said. There were minor cracks in the building of the police station, he said.
Abra province’s public information office posted photos on its Facebook page showing badly damaged buildings, with walls with large cracks. The Philippines is regularly rocked by quakes due to its location on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, an arc of intense seismic activity that stretches from Japan through Southeast Asia and across the Pacific basin. In 1990, a magnitude 7.7 quake killed nearly 2,000 people in the northern Philippines.