A 7-magnitude earthquake rocked the northern Philippines Wednesday, triggering landslides and damaging buildings, per The Associated Press.

Details: The earthquake struck northern Luzon, the country’s most populous island, at 8:43 a.m local time.

What happened?

  • At least five people are dead, mostly in collapsed structures, and dozens more were injured, per CBS News.
  • As many as 58 landslides have been reported, and 218 towns in 15 provinces were affected by the earthquake. Three bridges were destroyed in Abra, per CNN.com.
  • Its epicenter was several southeast of the small town of Dolores, Abra province, according to the United States Geological Survey.
  • The earthquake has been followed by numerous aftershocks.

Michael Brillantes, a safety officer of the Abra town of Lagangilang, near the epicenter when the earthquake started, told The Associated Press, “It was the most powerful quake I’ve felt and I thought the ground would open up,”

What happens next?

Reports indicate that government leaders have dispatched rescue and relief teams and natural disaster response operations are underway.

History of earthquakes

Flashback: Since 1970, 11 earthquakes greater than 6.5-magnitude have occurred within 250 kilometers of this earthquake, according to USGS.

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  • A magnitude 7.7 quake killed nearly 2,000 people in the northern Philippines in 1990.
  • The Philippines lies along the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of faults around the Pacific Ocean where most of the world’s earthquakes occur, per The Associated Press.

Latter-day Saints in the Philippines

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The Philippines are home to more than 833,000 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who attend over 1,200 congregations across the country, per the church’s newsroom.

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See photos of the Urdaneta Philippines Temple receiving its Angel Moroni statue
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