At least eight people have died and about 60 have been injured in the Philippines after several earthquakes of magnitude between 5.4 and 5.9 that shook the center of Luzon Island in the north of the country early in the morning.
The earthquakes occurred before dawn with several hours of difference near the municipality of Itbayat, in the Batanes Islands, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), which records seismic activity worldwide.
The last tremor, of magnitude 5.7, was recorded at 01.24 GMT (09.24 local time) 21 kilometers from Itbayat and at a depth of 10 kilometers, the USGS reported.
The National Council for Disaster Reduction estimated eight deaths and 60 people injured, while asking the population of the affected area to stay outside their homes to be safe from possible aftershocks.
The authorities also reported that the tremors had caused damage to houses and churches and that the army had been mobilized to carry out rescue work.
The Philippines sits on the so-called 'Ring of Fire of the Pacific', an area of great seismic and volcanic activity that is shaken by about 7,000 tremors a year, mostly moderate.
Earthquakes of magnitude greater than 5 are recorded sporadically in southern Mindanao, Batanes and the eastern region of Bicol.
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