Back-to-back earthquakes strike Philippines killing 8 and injuring at least 63

iStock/hepatus(NEW YORK) — Back-to-back strong earthquakes struck the northern Philippines just hours apart early Saturday, killing at least eight people, injuring at least 63 residents and damaging historic stone buildings, officials said.

Early Saturday, tremors hit Itbayat, one of the sparsely-populated Batanes Islands located in the Luzon Strait that separates the Philippines and Taiwan. The region is part of the Pacific “Ring of Fire” — a zone of major seismic activity.

The Philippines National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), which reported the casualties, also said at least one person was missing and 911 families or 2,963 people were displaced from their homes and currently staying at a public marketplace.

The quake also damaged at least 15 houses and two schools, according to the Philippine government.

The first quake struck at 4:16 a.m. local time and measured 5.4 on the Richter scale. The second struck at 7:37 a.m. and measured 5.9, Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology reported. After several aftershocks, a third quake which measured 5.7 struck on Saturday evening at 6:11 p.m.

The rescue efforts were ongoing.

There was no tsunami warning following the quake.

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