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.
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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.
Five people died in the first quake and two in the second, said the mayor of the town of Itbayat, Raul de Sagon. He made the remarks in an interview Saturday on a local radio station, according to the Associated Press (AP). At the time, he said at least 12 people had been injured.
“The wounded are still being brought in,” de Sagon said. Most of the residents of the fishing town had hunkered down in the town plaza because the quakes damaged houses and buildings made of limestone and rocks.
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.
LOOK: Houses were damaged following the back-to-back earthquakes in Itbayat, Batanes.
Credit: Steve Labrador, Executive Secretary of Gov. Marilou H. Cayco pic.twitter.com/QqJ8RESVoa
— Philippine Red Cross (@philredcross) July 27, 2019
ABC News’ Jason Volack contributed to this report.