Twin earthquakes strike Batanes

Eight people were killed and many were injured when twin earthquakes struck Batanes Province early Saturday while many were still asleep, local officials said.

Scared residents left their homes during the incident. Apparently, the twin quakes caused masonry homes to collapse and created deep cracks in paved roads.

The two earthquakes with magnitude 5.4 and 5.9 within hours of each other, according to the US Geological Survey.

No tsunami alerts were issued.

Many people were still asleep when the first tremor struck around 4:15 am (2015 GMT Friday), followed just under four hours later by the second stronger jolt.

Mayor Raul de Sagon told AFP that eight people had been killed and around 60 others were hurt. The extent of their injuries was not immediately clear.

Police sergeant Uzi Villa added that the timing of the quake meant many people were at home when the first quake struck.

“We saw houses shaking. Some of the walls of the houses collapsed and fell on the victims,” he told AFP.

“Some people died because they were sleeping soundly since it was still early,” he added.

The Philippines is part of the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, an arc of intense seismic activity that stretches from quake-prone Japan through Southeast Asia and across the Pacific basin.

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