8 dead, dozens injured after earthquakes strike northern Philippines

8 dead, dozens injured after earthquakes strike northern Philippines
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At least eight people are dead and 60 others were injured after two earthquakes struck the northern Philippines early Saturday morning.

The 5.4 and 5.9 magnitude quakes struck a group of islands in the Luzon Strait while many of the islands' residents were still asleep, The Associated Press reported. Several aftershocks also shook the region.

A third, 5.8 magnitude earthquake hit the sea west of Batanes, another province in the Philippines, later Saturday, according to the AP.


Photos and videos posted to Twitter show houses and buildings devastated by the quakes. According to the AP, the islands' ancestral houses were also damaged in the shaking.

Survivors reportedly combed through piles of stone bricks to pull one body from the rubble, according to the AP. Only one villager was still unaccounted for among Itbayat's 2,800 people as of Saturday morning.

Residents were advised not to return to their homes and to remain in the town plaza as aftershocks shook the area, according to the AP. 

"The wounded are still being brought in," Itbayat Mayor Raul de Sagon told a local radio station, according to CBS News.

As the third earthquake hit, thousands of residents were reportedly holding a predawn earthquake drill in Manila, which wasn’t affected by the quake.

The Philippines frequently experiences earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, the AP noted, given its location on the Pacific "Ring of Fire," a seismically active formation of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.