Two women died as a magnitude-5.1 earthquake hit Leyte today (Wednesday, August 23).
The victims have been identified as Maria Contreras Colasito, aged 51, and Rodita Baloro, 71.
Mrs Colasito fell over while fleeing a building and hit her head on the pavement, while Mrs Baloro suffered a heart attack within minutes of the quake.
The earthquake struck at 6.26am. The epicentre was about three miles from Albuera, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs). The agency has warned that aftershocks are likely, but no damage is expected.
Phivolcs recorded intensities of 5 (strong) in Ormoc City; 4 (moderately strong) in Pastrana, Leyte; and 3 (weak) in Tacloban City and Palo, Leyte.
Following the quake, the Ormoc City government has suspended classes in all schools and ordered engineers to check building safety. Meanwhile, patients of the Ormoc Doctors Hospital and OSPA-Farmers Medical Center were taken outside during the quake as a precaution.
Myrna Mangle, chairwoman of Barangay Alta Vista in Ormoc City, said a total of 56 hourses were damaged by the quake.
On July 6, the area was hit by a magnitude 6.5 quake in which three were killed and hundreds injured. Prior to this, in 2013, a 7.2-magnitude quake left more than 220 dead.
The Philippines is located in the Ring of Fire, a region of high volcanic and seismic activity that is shaken by some 7,000, mostly moderate quakes.
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