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The president of the Philippines goes to an area hit by an earthquake while people shelter outside

Image: Reuters Berita 24 English -  Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos said on Thursday that he would help rebuild homes that were dama...

Image: Reuters

Berita 24 English -  Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos said on Thursday that he would help rebuild homes that were damaged by a strong earthquake on the island of Luzon. Residents camped out in parks and on sidewalks because they were scared after hundreds of aftershocks shook the area.

On Wednesday morning, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit the northern island of the Philippines. At least five people were killed and more than 130 were hurt.

Many homes and other buildings, including churches that were built hundreds of years ago in the tourist town of Vigan, were also damaged by the quake.

"For the affected and victims, let's make sure we're ready to help them and give them everything they need," Marcos told officials after getting a report on the damage during a trip to look at it.

The streets of Vigan, which is known for its old Spanish colonial architecture, have been cleaned up, but shops, hotels, and businesses are still closed.

Elma Sia, who works at a restaurant and is 52 years old, remembered how scary it was to be caught in such a strong earthquake.

"Everything was moving, our plates were breaking, and the lights were swaying. We were scared to death, ""Reuters," she said.

She said, "I could hear people screaming from a nearby McDonald's, so people ran outside and started crying out of fear."

The quake hit close to the political stronghold of the Marcos family. It also caused a lot of damage in Bangued town in Abra province, which was only 11 km (6.8 miles) from the centre of the quake.

People camped out in shelters with their families because they were too afraid to stay at home. Since the main earthquake, there have been nearly 800 aftershocks.

Erlinda Bisares told CNN Philippines, "We were so scared." "We didn't mind our belongings, we just hurried outside. It's more important to live."

The Philippines are prone to natural disasters and are on the Pacific "Ring of Fire," a band of volcanoes and fault lines that goes around the edge of the Pacific Ocean and is a place where earthquakes are common. There are a lot of earthquakes, and on average there are 20 typhoons a year, some of which cause deadly landslides.

Manuel Bonoan, who is in charge of public works, told DZBB radio that his agency had started cleaning up the main roads in Abra and other areas where rockslides happened because of the earthquake.

The National Irrigation Administration said it was hard to figure out how bad the damage was to irrigation works because some roads were still full of rocks.

Some of the most rice and vegetables come from provinces in northern Luzon.

Ricardo Jalad, who runs the Office of Civil Defense, told radio station DZRH that some parts of Abra still don't have power or water and can't talk to each other.

The ministry of the budget said that the government was ready to give money for disaster relief.

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