A magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck the Philippines. The powerful earthquake struck near the northern Philippines town of Dolores at 10:59 a.m. local time Tuesday, 330 kilometers (205 miles) south of the capital, Manila.
The U.S. Geological Service said the quake sent panicked residents into the streets and damaged a hospital.
Patients were evacuated from the 200-bed Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital in Batak, about 60 kilometers (37 miles) north of the epicenter.
Dolores City Police Officer Jeffrey Blance said panicked residents ran outside and buildings were shaking.
More than 100 kilometers from the epicenter, someone from the municipality of Eparri recently posted on the website of the European-Mediterranean Seismological Center (EMSC) that it was the most extensive tremor they had ever experienced.
‘The longest earthquake I have ever felt. Thank God we are safe. Stay safe everyone,’ the post said.
The local fire department’s official Facebook page posted pictures of collapsed ceilings in some hospital rooms and dozens of patients sitting on chairs in the driveway outside.
“The authorities have forced us to leave the building while they check the integrity of the building… We are currently conducting an assessment of the damage,” hospital worker Tom Tavije told news agency AFP by phone.
The civil defense office in Abra province, where Dolores is located, said there were no immediate reports of casualties, but the extent of damage would not be known until the morning.
Abra rescuer Joel de Leon told AFP by phone, “We cannot assess the damage caused by the earthquake now, because it is night time and we are also thinking about the safety of the people.”
In July, a magnitude 7 earthquake triggered landslides and fissures in the mountainous Abra province, killing eleven people and injuring hundreds.
Earlier in October 2013, a magnitude 7.1 earthquake hit the central island of Bohol, killing more than 200 people.
Earthquakes are a daily occurrence in the Philippines, which lies on the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’