Following a 6.1-magnitude trembler, water poured from the top of the Anchor Skysuites, a large apartment block in the centre of Manila.
In the streets below, dozens of people can been seen in footage running away from the scene.
Several people are thought to have been killed after the earthquake struck across the country’s northern Luzon island.
Officials said some victims were still trapped in a collapsed building in Pampanga province, north of the country's capital Manila, while power was knocked out in at least one province.
Pampanga governor, Lilia Pineda, told DZMM radio around 20 people were rescued, some with injuries, from the wreckage of a small building in the town of Porac.
Among those trapped were customers and employees of a grocery on the building’s ground floor, she said.
“There are still some people inside but [rescuers] can’t lift the debris that crashed down,” Ms Pineda added, as she appealed for cranes to help save the trapped people.
The governor said she had received reports the earthquake left at least eight people dead in her province, but could not provide details.
It lso damaged an airport terminal at Clark Freeport, a former US Air Force base, which had to be temporarily closed.
Seven people were injured at the airport and more than 100 flights were cancelled, officials said.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said the earthquake centred near the northwestern town of Castillejos in Zambales province. Dozens of aftershocks were recorded.
The Philippines is one of the world’s most disaster-prone countries.
It has frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions because of its location on the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire”, a seismically active arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.
A magnitude 7.7 quake killed nearly 2,000 people in the northern Philippines in 1990.
Additional reporting by Associated Press
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