7.3 Earthquake Rocks The Philippines

(NewsGlobal.com)- A 7.3 magnitude earthquake in the northern Philippines set of a series of landslides and damaged buildings that resulted in at least five people dead. In the capital of Manila, patients were evacuated and others rushed outdoors, according to the Associated Press.

The earthquake was centered around Abra province, a mountainous area in the north, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said. Some witnesses reportedly told the Associated Press that it was the most powerful quake they have experienced.

“The ground shook like I was on a swing and the lights suddenly went out. We rushed out of the office, and I heard screams and some of my companions were in tears,” said Michael Brillantes, a safety officer of the Abra town of Lagangilang, near the epicenter.

At least five people have been reported dead, found in collapsed structures, with one villager dying by a falling slab of cement in his home in Abra. Photos show cars being submerged into the collapsing street and slabs of rock breaking off and tumbling to the ground in a landslide.

The newly elected President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. plans to meet victims and local officials in Abra. He said that he was at Riverside Malacanang presidential palace when the ground started to shake.

In one chilling story, a Filipino photojournalist Harley Palangchao was driving with his friends in two vans in the Mountain Province when they heard and saw a thunderous avalanche of falling boulders. While the van in front of them was hit, there were no deaths and they successfully escaped, but not before Palangchao could take a picture of the falling boulders.

“I was thinking there should be at least a record if something happened to us,” Palangchao told the AP. “It was a horrific experience.”