Powerful 7.2M quake jolted 3 Philippine islands, kills 93, death toll rising

Aledel Cuizon said the quake that caught her in her bedroom sounded like "a huge truck that was approaching and the rumbling sound grew louder as it got closer."


"I was thrown to the ground by the strength of the quake. Broken glass rained on me," Elmo Alinsunorin, who was on duty as a guard for a government tax office in Cebu, told AFP.


The death toll from a strong 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck the central Philippine island of Bohol on Tuesday rose to 93, as rescuers struggled to reach patients in a collapsed hospital. Centuries-old stone churches crumbled and wide areas were without power.

Bohol police chief Dennis Agustin said 77 of the deaths came from the province. At least 15 others died in nearby Cebu province and another on Siquijor Island.

The quake struck at 8:12 a.m. and was centered about 20 miles below Carmen city, where many small buildings collapsed.

Many roads and bridges were reported damaged, making rescue operations difficult. But historic churches dating from the Spanish colonial period suffered the most. Among them was the country's oldest, the 16th-century Basilica of the Holy Child in Cebu, which lost its bell tower.

Nearly half of a 17th-century limestone church in Loboc town, southwest of Carmen, was reduced to rubble.

The highest number of dead — 18 — were in the municipality of Loon, 26 miles west of Carmen, where an unknown number of patients were trapped inside the Congressman Castillo Memorial Hospital, which partially collapsed. Rescuers were working to reach them, said civil defense spokesman Maj. Reynaldo Balido.

As night fell, the entire province was in the dark after the quake cut power supplies. Windy weather and rain also forced back a military rescue helicopter.

Authorities were setting up tents for those displaced by the quake, while others who lost their homes moved in with their relatives, Bohol Gov. Edgardo Chatto said.

Extensive damage also hit densely populated Cebu city, across a narrow strait from Bohol, causing deaths when a building in the port and the roof of a market area collapsed.

The quake set off two stampedes in nearby cities. When it struck, people gathered in a gym in Cebu rushed outside in a panic, crushing five people to death and injuring eight others, said Neil Sanchez, provincial disaster management officer.

"We ran out of the building, and outside, we hugged trees because the tremors were so strong," said Vilma Yorong, a provincial government employee in Bohol.

"When the shaking stopped, I ran to the street and there I saw several injured people. Some were saying their church has collapsed," she told The Associated Press by phone.

As fear set in, Yorong and the others ran up a mountain, afraid a tsunami would follow the quake. "Minutes after the earthquake, people were pushing each other to go up the hill," she said.

But the quake was centered inland and did not cause a tsunami.

Offices and schools were closed for a national holiday — the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha — which may have saved lives.

Authorities said the death toll could still climb, with officials struggling to assess the extent of the damage in the worst-hit areas of Bohol where roads were impassable and power was cut.

The quake caused old churches and modern buildings to crumble, while major roads were also ripped open and blocked by landslides.

"There was panic when the quake happened and there was a rush toward the exit," Sanchez told AFP.

Panic was sparked when low-rise buildings collapsed on at least two islands and historic churches crumbled during the quake. Areas were hit by power cuts, stopping some transport links and forcing hospitals to evacuate patients to open spaces as aftershocks rocked the city of about 870,000 people.

Markets and buildings collapsed in Bohol and in the nearby Cebu province when the quake struck at 8.12am this morning.








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Comment by Andrey Eroshin on October 19, 2013 at 5:06pm

A landslide which was caused by Tuesday’s 7.2-magnitude earthquake is seen from Cortes township, Bohol province in central Philippines Wednesday Oct. 16, 2013. AP

Comment by Howard on October 19, 2013 at 4:18am

Deadly Philippine Quake Impacts Millions (Oct 18)
An estimated 3.4 million people were affected by the devastating quake on October 15.

Emergency workers rushed food, water, medicines, tents and other relief goods to the quake survivors, many of whom were staying outdoors for fear of aftershocks.

While authorities assured victims that help was on the way, relief supplies were running low in many of the affected areas.

In Antequera town, Mayor Jose Pahang appealed for more assistance: “We have distributed our last supply of rice. We have also run out of canned goods, medicines and water.” He said 25 kilos of rice were rationed to each of its 21 villages on Thursday and residents were asked to share the supply until fresh relief goods reach the town.

“We are isolated because all roads leading to us have been blocked by landslides and we also cannot go out to get supplies.”



Comment by J Ph on October 18, 2013 at 8:50pm

Nancy: It seems the sinking is already happening


Sinkhole jitters hit Bohol, Cebu

Comment by Kojima on October 16, 2013 at 4:55am
Comment by Nancy Lieder on October 15, 2013 at 6:02pm

The Philippines lie on the Sunda Plate, though a very top portion above Manila does not. The Sunda Plate has been increasing its sinking lately, past few weeks and months. Watch for flooding in this region now, following this quake.

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