Powerful 7.1 magnitude earthquake strikes Philippines and rattles the country

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The Philippines has been struck by a 7.1-magnitude earthquake, with a number of towns and cities in the northern part of the country reporting shaking.

The quake was recorded near Luzon at a depth of 40km, the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre said on Wednesday.

Its epicentre was 45 kilometres east of Vigan, a city of 60,000 located on the west coast of the Luzon landmass.

People took to social media to report feeling the effects of the quake in Manila, with buildings shaking.

A photograph shared on social media by a Filipina academic in the aftermath showed damage to Vigan Cathedral, a Roman Catholic place of worship dating from the 18th century, forming part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Some of the building appears to have been crumbled in the image, with bricks noticeably on the ground.

Emergency Management Agency tweeted: “NO TSUNAMI THREAT is expected to the State of Hawai'i from an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.8 detected at 2:43 p.m.

CNN Philippines reported that several passengers at LRT-1 Abad Santos station are waiting for operations to resume following the earthquake.

Phivolcs Director Solidum said: “We suspect that the fault in the area has moved to generate that major earthquake.

“That's a major earthquake. Anything larger than magnitude 7 can be devastating.”

Meanwhile, according to the reports, people have been evacuated from their working places as a precautionary move.

Social media users, who witnessed the damaging earthquake, shared their reactions on social media.

One user tweeted: “Stay safe, northerners. I still feel dizzy but power is back in our area. Let’s pray for no or at least fewer and less powerful aftershocks.”

A second Twitter user said: “No wonder everyone in the neighbourhood got woken up it was a magnitude 7.3 earthquake.”

A third user wrote: “I was in an elevator when this happened earlier and my heart was pounding!!”

The Great Luzon Earthquake of July 1990 was magnitude 7.7 at a depth of 25km.

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