Quake-hit Batangas under state of calamity

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The province of Batangas was placed under a state of calamity on Wednesday, April 5, following the magnitude 5.5 earthquake that struck Tuesday night, April 4.

Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas told dzBB in an interview that the quake left key structures damaged, including the Batangas Provincial Capitol building. The initial cost of damage to that building alone is P18 million.

Mandanas also suspended classes in the province for Wednesday while the assessment of damaged structures is ongoing.

In a statement on Wednesday afternoon, Malacañang called on the public to be vigilant.

"We ask our people, especially the residents of the province of Batangas, to remain vigilant and alert in light of last night's earthquake," said Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella.

"Let us refrain from forwarding news from unverified sources that may cause undue alarm and panic," he added.

The epicenter of the quake, which struck at 8:58 pm on Tuesday, was located in Tingloy, Batangas, at a depth of 5 kilometers.

Parts of Metro Manila and nearby provinces also felt the tremor in varying intensities.

Dozens of aftershocks have since hit Batangas, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).

The two strongest aftershocks as of posting – a magnitude 4.8 at 11:13 pm on Tuesday, and a magnitude 4.9 at 12:49 am on Wednesday. – Rappler.com