7.1-magnitude earthquake hits northern Philippines
MANILA (AFP) - A huge earthquake hit the northern Philippines Wednesday, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said, shattering windows of buildings at the epicentre and shaking high-rise towers more than 300km away in the capital Manila.
The shallow but powerful quake struck the mountainous province of Abra on the main island of Luzon at 8.43am (same time in Singapore) the USGS said, after initially measuring the quake at 6.8 magnitude.
In Dolores, which felt the full force of the quake, terrified people ran outside their buildings and windows of the local market were shattered, Police Major Edwin Sergio said.
"The quake was very strong," Mr Sergio said, adding there were minor cracks in the police station building.
So far, no casualties or major damage have been reported.
The Philippines is regularly rocked by quakes due to its location on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an arc of intense seismic activity that stretches from Japan through South-east Asia and across the Pacific basin.