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Massive tremor jolts Philippines, claim 8 lives

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Manila, July 27: At least eight people were killed and sixty injured in a back-to-back earthquakes that struck islands of the north of the Philippines on Saturday morning.

Roldan Escudil, Batanes provincial disaster risk reduction and management council chief, provided early details about the quakes in a radio interview.

Massive tremor jolts Philippines, claim 8 lives

A 5.9-magnitude earthquake struck the Batanes archipelago, the US Geological Survey reported.

About 20 minutes later, a second quake hit the same area near Itbayat at a magnitude of 4.5.

Photos from the Philippine Red Cross showed damage to homes.

The first quake killed five people while three people were killed in aftershocks, Ricardo Jalad, executive director of the disaster agency, told Reuters.

"It's traumatic ... we're still feel strong aftershocks," Edna Gato, a school teacher in Itbayat town, told Reuters.

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The national disaster agency said it was sending medical and rescue teams to the islands, about half way between the main Philippine island of Luzon and Taiwan.

The military was also deploying an aircraft to send supplies and bring out injured, he said.

Gato said she was standing outside in an open space with more than 1,000 people.

"New houses were damaged and the old houses which we were preserving were completely destroyed," she said, referring to traditional stone homes.

The Philippines is on the geologically active Pacific Ring of Fire and experiences frequent earthquakes.

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