An earthquake measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale hit the northern Philippines late Saturday, causing localised power outages as buildings swayed, but no casualties were reported, officials said. The epicentre of the quake, which struck at 9:08pm (1308 GMT), was a few kilometres northeast of Ilagan, the capital of Isabela province, a duty officer with the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology told AFP. There were no reports of casualties around the city of about 131,000 more than an hour later, said Inspector Joel Dulin, the senior officer on duty at the signal department of the Isabela police.
“We have been contacting the other (Isabela) municipalities for any reports of damage or casualties, but so far it has been negative,” he added. Power outages hit some parts of Ilagan,” Dulin told AFP, and the provincial police headquarters there were among areas left without electricity.
Police officer Lito Piga, duty officer for the region’s civil defence office located in Tuguegarao, 60 kilometres (37 miles) north of Ilagan, said the two-storey building swayed noticeably. “I ran downstairs, but when we inspected the building for cracks later on we did not find any,” he told AFP. The US Geological Survey, which uses a different scale, said the quake had a magnitude of 5.3 and put its depth at 45 kilometres.