Over 400 aftershocks rock northern Philippines a day after earthquake, at least 36 injured

Parts of the facade of the Nuestra Señora De La Paz Church in La Paz, Abra, Philippines crumbles on Oct 25, 2022. PHOTO: CHRISTIAN EDWARD PADUA / FACEBOOK
The magnitude 6.4 earthquake triggers landslides and rockslides along the Abra-Ilocos Norte Road in the Philippines on October 25, 2022. PHOTO: CIVIL DEFENSE CORDILLERA / FACEBOOK
Rescue teams conducting an inspection at Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital in Batac city, Ilocos Norte, on Oct 25, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

MANILA - Over 400 aftershocks rocked northern Philippines on Wednesday, one day after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake jolted provinces in the area and injured at least 36 people.

The quake, which struck at 10.59pm on Tuesday, damaged churches dating back to the Spanish colonial times and shut down an international airport in Laoag City, capital of Ilocos Norte, home province of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

The quake, whose epicentre was at Tineg town in Abra province, had a shallow depth of 11km, but its effects were felt as far away as Metro Manila, some 330km to the south.

A total of 436 aftershocks had been recorded as at Wednesday afternoon, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said.

The quake caused power outages in parts of Cagayan province, and triggered landslides and rockslides that blocked highways in Abra and Ilocos Norte.

Photos posted online late on Tuesday night showed children sleeping on mats spread out along the streets in Lagayan town, as their parents were fearful of aftershocks.

Children sleep on mats along the streets of Lagayan town in Abra, the Philippines, after the earthquake on Oct 25, 2022. PHOTO: LAGAYAN, ABRA MUNICIPAL BOARD MEMBER AILYN TURQUEZA SALES-PARADO/FACEBOOK

The quake damaged the facade of the 18th-century Nuestra Senora De La Paz Church, locally known as the Aglipayan Church. It is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. Some 113km away in Sarrat town, Ilocos Norte, falling debris had toppled a statue of Jesus Christ at the Santa Monica Parish Church built in 1724.

A statue of Jesus Christ at the Santa Monica Parish Church in Sarrat, Ilocos Norte, the Philippines, was destroyed by the quake on Oct 25. PHOTO: FR JOSE VERNON ILLANO/FACEBOOK

Meanwhile, patients had to be evacuated and outpatient consultations suspended after the ceiling collapsed at Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Centre, Ilocos Norte’s biggest hospital named after Mr Marcos’ grandfather.

Patients are evacuated from the Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center in Ilocos Norte, the Philippines, following the magnitude-6.4 earthquake on Oct 25. PHOTO: BUREAU OF FIRE PROTECTION REGION 1/FACEBOOK

The Laoag International Airport was shut due to cracks on the runway, and will reopen only on Thursday night.

Mr Marcos advised the public to avoid tall structures for now, as government agencies carry out relief and clearing operations.

“Stay alert and be safe, my countrymen. We are coming to help you,” he tweeted.

In July, a magnitude-7 earthquake rocked the northern Philippines, killing at least seven people, triggering landslides and damaging centuries-old structures.

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