Shallow quake was measured at above 7 magnitude and collapsed buildings near the epicentre in northern Abra province.
At least four people have died and 60 others were injured by a powerful earthquake in the northern Philippines, the country’s interior minister has said.
The 8:43am (00:43 GMT) quake on Wednesday struck the mountainous and lightly populated province of Abra on Luzon, the country’s main and most populous island, causing small landslides and collapsing some houses. The tremors caused high-rise towers to shake more than 400km (249 miles) away in the capital, Manila, which is located on the south of the island.
The earthquake was measured at a preliminary magnitude of 7.1 by the US Geological Survey (USGS), 7.2 by the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) and 7.3 by the Philippines Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).
Phivolcs later revised the magnitude down to 7.0. Still, the earthquake was strongest to have hit the Philippines in years.
Those killed included a man who was hit by falling cement slabs in his house in Abra, where at least 25 others were injured and were mostly confined in hospitals, officials said.
A construction worker was also hit by debris and died in the strawberry-growing mountain town of La Trinidad in Benguet province, where some roads were shut by landslides and boulders.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr, whose home town is in the northern Philippines, ordered rescue and relief teams to be sent to Abra, and is preparing to fly to the affected area, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles told a news conference.
USGS said the earthquake’s epicentre was about 11km (7 miles) east-southeast of the town of Dolores.