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China vows to help quake-hit areas

China has vowed to extend assistance to the Philippines following the magnitude 7 earthquake that jolted parts of Luzon on Wednesday.

“On behalf of the Chinese Embassy, I would like to extend my thoughts and prayers to the Philippine government and the Filipino people affected by this morning's earthquake in Luzon,” Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian said in a Facebook post.

“We are ready to extend [a] helping hand to the Philippine side for disaster relief."

Huang also expressed solidarity with Filipinos affected by the strong quake, saying he believes the country "will be able to overcome difficulties and resume normal life as soon as possible" under the leadership of President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.

According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), the quake (earlier reported as magnitude 7.3) occurred at 8:43 a.m. and was located three kilometers northwest of Tayum, Abra.

It had a depth of 17 kilometers.

Aftershocks and damage were expected, but there was no threat of a tsunami, PHIVOLCS said.

National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council spokesperson Mark Timbal said a construction worker was reportedly killed by falling debris in La Trinidad, Benguet, but the incident is still being verified. —VBL, GMA News