At least eight dead as two quakes rock Batanes: police
At least eight were confirmed dead while 63 were injured after two earthquakes struck Batanes Saturday morning.
As of 10:30 am, police said the victims were two newborn babies identified as Haisly Naquita, a five-day old; and Fausta Caan, ten day old. Also retrieved were the bodies of Tito Asa, Teresita Gulaga, Fausta Caan, Genward Mina, Eva Valiente, and Mary Rose Valiente.
In an earlier statement by the Batanes Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO), the victims lost their lives inside their houses.
"All of them were buried in their collapsed houses when the quake hit the area," Batanes PDRRMO Roldan Esdicul said in a radio interview.
The Philippine Coast Guard said late Saturday that three persons are missing while the number of injured rose to 63. Six seriously injured residents of Itbayat were flown to Batanes General Hospital, the Philippine Air Force added.
Esdicul reported several infrastructures were damaged including roads, ancestral homes and the historic Nuestra Senora del Rosario church's bell tower.
According to Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), a magnitude 5.4 quake shook Itbayat town around 4 am.
The tectonic quake's epicenter was located 12 kilometers north of Itbayat with a depth of up to 12 kilometers.
Intensity VI was reported to be felt in Itbayat while intensity III affected Basco and Sabtang.
Three hours after the first quake, Phivolc reported a magnitude 5.9 earthquake with its center located 21 kilometers of Itbayat.
The second quake, arond seven kilometers deep, was also tectonic in origin.
Multiple intensities were recorded in parts of Batanes. Intensity VII shook Itbayat, Intensity V in Basco, and Intensity IV In Sabtang and Ivana.
Phivolcs added in their bulletin an instrumental intensity IV in Basco.
Authorities said following the tremors,Itbayat lost power. Cristina Eloisa Baclig/DMS