Earthshaking jolt!

Earthquakes have a way of catching us unaware, whether they happen day or night. Although they are not rare in the Philippines, since the country sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, it is their suddenness — that element of surprise — that make them deadly. You can only prepare so much for temblors.

If there is a takeaway from the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that struck the northern Philippines last 27 July, it was that it happened in the morning, and that people were just on their way to work. Had it happened in the evening or at dawn, the number of casualties might have been higher, since a bigger public would have been caught unaware by the tremor.

The national road in Barangay Bio Lagangilang in Abra was damaged by a crack that runs across its length from the 27 July quake.


This handout photo taken and released on July 27, 2022 by the Mountain Province Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office shows a damaged vehicle caused by a landslide along Halsema Highway in the municipality of Bontoc, Mountain Province, after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit the northern Philippines. (Photo by Handout / Mountain Province Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – MANDATORY CREDIT “AFP PHOTO / Mountain Province Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office” – NO MARKETING – NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS – DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS


This building under construction in Buyagan, La Trinidad, Benguet collapsed and killed a construction worker during Wednesday morning’s quake.


Volunteers from the Philippine Red Cross in Abra assist a senior citizen who was injured during Wednesday’s quake.


Many houses in Bangued, Abra were destroyed by the earthquake that struck the province on 27 July.


With an epicenter located in Tayum, Abra, the earthquake’s effect was felt as far away in Metro Manila, which is 400 kilometers south, with Malabon and Manila reporting strong (Intensity V) ground shaking activity. It might have lasted for just seconds, but it left a large part of Luzon shaken, including historical structures in the Ilocos region.

Immediately following the quake, local disaster response teams went to work, providing affected residents with emergency assistance. As of 29 July, the Department of Social Welfare and Development reported 15,300 families were displaced by the activity, mostly coming from the provinces of Abra, Ilocos Sur, Kalinga, Benguet and Mountain Province, while the death toll has been placed at 10 individuals.

Aftershocks were reported following Wednesday’s quake, but families in the affected areas immediately picked up the pieces, rebuilding their homes and returning to their lives.

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