The earthquakes, magnitudes 5.4 and 5.9, hit the province of Batanes, an archipelago in the north of the country early on Saturday.

Mayor Raul de Sagon said around 60 people were hurt. Many people were in their homes when the earthquakes struck.

No tsunami warnings have been issued.

Police sergeant Uzi Villa told AFP: “We saw houses shaking. Some of the walls of the houses collapsed and fell on the victims. Some people died because they were sleeping soundly since it was still early.”

A damaged house after the earthquakes

Images posted to social media by the Philippine Red Cross show houses reduced to rubble.

The Philippines is part of the Pacific “Ring of Fire” – a zone of major seismic activity which has one of the world’s most active fault lines.

Map of Philippines