A magnitude 7 earthquake jolted the northern province of Abra in the Phlippines on Wednesday morning, July 27 badly damaging homes, public and private buildings and roads and heritage structures. The earthquake was initially calculated to have a magnitude of 7.3.
Strong tremors were felt throughout Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon.
Initial social media posts and news reports showed that the earthquake caused small landslides and damaged buildings and churches includiing in the Historic Town of Vigan, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The earthquake's epicenter occured near the heritage city of Vigan, Ilocos Sur, and caused damages to structures including historic houses, the Vigan Cathedral and Bantay Bell Tower as shared by netizens on social media.
According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, the earthquake which was recorded at a depth of 25 kilometers, occurred at 8:43 a.m. with an epicenter in Abra province.
Phivolcs added that Intensity IV was felt in Quezon City and tremors were felt in other parts of Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon.
As reported by PNA, Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum Jr. said the last strong earthquake in the country that caused damage was the magnitude 6.6 quake in Masbate in August 2020. The disaster preparedness agency later updated it as magnitude 7, and said the quake had a depth of 17 kilometers.
Aftershocks are to be expected, the agency said.
Netizens turned to social media to share their experiences following the earthquake, offering prayers and other support for those based in the North of the country.