Earthquakes in the Philippines

Eight people were killed and several dozen wounded when two successive earthquakes hit early Saturday the islands of the northern Philippines, terrifying the inhabitants surprised in their sleep.

The earthquakes occurred a few hours apart in the province of Batanes, a group of small islands located off Luzon, the largest island in the archipelago, the authorities said.

Terrified residents fled their homes in the middle of the night and patients were evacuated from hospitals, while several aftershocks hit the area.

Filipino media display footage showing cut roads and collapsed buildings. Rescue teams began searching for potential survivors who were trapped in the collapsed houses.

The two earthquakes had respective magnitudes of 5.4 and 5.9, according to the USGS Geophysical Institute. They did not give rise to a tsunami warning.

Many Filipinos were asleep when the first earthquake occurred Saturday around 4:15 local time (20:15 GMT Friday), followed a few hours later by the second, more powerful.