8 Killed in Quake, Aftershocks in Philippines, 60 Injured: Agency

By Reuters
July 27, 2019 Updated: July 27, 2019

MANILA—An earthquake and aftershocks struck islands off the north of the Philippines on July 27, killing eight people and injuring 60, disaster officials said.

An initial quake of magnitude 5.4 that struck the Batanes islands was followed shortly by an aftershock of magnitude 5.9, according to Philippine government data. Another big aftershock struck a little later.

The first quake killed five people while three people were killed in aftershocks, Ricardo Jalad, executive director of the disaster agency, told Reuters.

“It’s traumatic … we’re still feel strong aftershocks,” Edna Gato, a school teacher in Itbayat town, told Reuters.

Philippines Earthquake
A resident looks at damaged houses in Itbayat town, Batanes islands, northern Philippines on Saturday July 27, 2019. Two strong earthquakes hours apart measuring 5.4 and 5.9 struck a group of sparsely populated islands in the Luzon Strait in the northern Philippines early Saturday, killing at least four people and injuring several others. (AP Photo/Agnes Salengua Nico)

The national disaster agency said it was sending medical and rescue teams to the islands, about half way between the main Philippine island of Luzon and Taiwan.

The military was also deploying an aircraft to send supplies and bring out injured, he said.

Gato said she was standing outside in an open space with more than 1,000 people.

Philippines Earthquake
Damaged houses lie in Itbayat town, Batanes islands, northern Philippines on Saturday July 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Agnes Salengua Nico)

“New houses were damaged and the old houses which we were preserving were completely destroyed,” she said, referring to traditional stone homes.

The Philippines is on the geologically active Pacific Ring of Fire and experiences frequent earthquakes.

By Neil Jerome Morales