Photos: Powerful earthquake strikes Philippines

Photos: Powerful earthquake strikes Philippines

A powerful magnitude 7 earthquake has struck the northern Philippine island of Luzon, killing four people, damaging buildings and sending strong tremors through the capital, Manila.

Two people were killed in Benguet province, one in Abra province, and one more in another province, Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos told a news conference. Sixty people were injured, including 44 in Abra province, 173 buildings were damaged and 58 landslides were reported, he added.

The earthquake struck about 11km (7 miles) southeast of the town of Dolores at a shallow depth of 10km (6 miles), according to United States Geological Survey data.

Renato Solidum, director of the state seismology agency, told the DZRH radio station, strong aftershocks were expected.

A hospital in Abra province was evacuated after the building partially collapsed but no casualties were reported there, officials said.

Abra, home to nearly 250,000 people, is a landlocked province in the northern Philippines. Its deep valleys and sloping hills are enclosed by rugged mountains.

The earthquake was also felt in Manila where several buildings were evacuated, with some people forced to flee from the 30th floor of one building, and the city’s metro rail systems were halted at rush hour.