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Five dead as buildings collapse in Philippines earthquake

Published: Updated:

Five people were killed when at least two buildings collapsed near Manila after a powerful earthquake set skyscrapers swaying and drove terrified locals into the street.

Three bodies have been pulled out of a four-story building in the town of Porac, while a woman and her grandchild were crushed to death in the town of Lubao, Lilia Pineda, governor of Pampanga province told ABS-CBN television.

“We believe there are still people trapped in the four-story building,” Pineda said, adding that 20 people have so far been rescued and taken to the hospital as night fell.

“It’s difficult because there is no power, so we’re still trying to get hold of a generator to be able to rescue the people inside,” she added.

A strong quake with a magnitude of 6.3 struck the region at 5:11 pm local time, according to the US Geological Survey.

The quake that rumbled across the northern Philippines caused skyscrapers to sway, as they are designed to do, in Manila.

It also caused serious damage to the capital’s secondary Clark Airport, which is located on the site of the former US military installation that lies about an hour’s drive north of the capital.

Damage was still being assessed, but residents posted photos on social of media showing cracked walls and light fixtures swinging in the moments after the quake.

Office workers piled out onto the streets as emergency alarms blared, AFP reporters saw.