Batanes, Philippines’ Pristine Island, Rocked by Earthquake
Nine were killed and over 60 people were injured after a series of earthquakes hit the island of Batanes, the northernmost island in the Philippines.
Residents were roused from sleep but the first tremor around 4:16am, with a magnitude of 5.4 followed just under four hours by a second and stronger jolt measuring 5.9.
Historic buildings and limestone houses were toppled, driving the residents into the streets.
Third earthquake hit off Basco, the capital city at 9:24 a.m. with a magnitude of 5.8 while a weaker 4.9 tremor was recorded at 6:11 p.m. Several aftershocks followed.
A 19th-century Church was severely damaged, its bell tower toppled by the second quake. The roads sustained deep cracks.
More than 2,000 residents of Itbayat — nearly all of the island’s population of mostly fishermen — were advised not to return to their homes and stay in the town plaza as successive aftershocks shook the region. Locals were also advised to follow stricter building standards.
Army troops and additional doctors later flew in after Itbayat’s airport runway was declared safe. But the whole island was declared under State of Calamity.
President Duterte is set the island 28-July.
Batanes an archipelagic province in the Philippine and the smallest both in land area and population. It is popular for its scenic view of the sea and mountains. The government listed seven Intangible Cultural Heritage elements. It is also the only place where “Honesty stores” exist – the stores aren’t manned and customers may come and go as they please, entrusting their goods and income of the day in the good faith.Popular sights also include lighthouses, century-old buildings, and limestone and corral houses.
tremor(n): small earthquake
topple(v): to become unsteady and then fall over, or to make something become unsteady and then fall over
successive(adj): coming or following one after the other
archipelagic(adj): adjective of archipelago (a group of small island)
intangible(adj): an intangible quality or feeling is difficult to describe exactly.