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Death toll in Bohol quake now close to 100 Associated Press Tuesday, October 15th, 2013
CEBU, Philippines — The death toll from a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck 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 33 kilometers (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, 42 kilometers (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.
The earthquake also was deeper below the surface than a 6.9-magnitude temblor last year in waters near Negros Island, also in the central Philippines, that killed nearly 100 people.
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.”
She and her neighbors ran outside, where she saw concrete electric poles “swaying like coconut trees.” It lasted 15-20 seconds, she said.
Cebu city’s hospitals quickly moved patients into the streets, basketball courts and parks.
Cebu province, about 570 kilometers (350 miles) south of Manila, has a population of more than 2.6 million people. Cebu is the second largest city after Manila. Nearby Bohol has 1.2 million people and is popular among foreigners because of its beach and island resorts and famed Chocolate Hills.
President Benigno Aquino III said he would travel to Bohol and Cebu on Wednesday.
Regional military commander Lt. Gen. Roy Deveraturda said he recalled soldiers from holiday furlough to respond to the quake. He said it damaged the pier in Tagbilaran, Bohol’s provincial capital, and caused some cracks at Cebu’s international airport but that navy ships and air force planes could use alternative ports to help out.
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Deadliest earthquakes that shook the Philippines By Kristine Angeli Sabillo INQUIRER.net Tuesday, October 15th, 2013
MANILA, Philippines – At least 60 people were killed while roads, bridges and centuries-old churches were heavily damaged after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit Bohol, Cebu, Negros Occidental and other provinces on Tuesday morning.
Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) Director Renato Solidum said the major earthquake was the strongest felt in Visayas and Mindanao in the last 23 years, releasing energy equivalent to “32 Hiroshima bombs.”
Located along the Pacific Ring of Fire, the source of 90 percent of the world’s earthquakes, the Philippines has experienced a number of devastating tremors. Just last year, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) listed the 6.7-magnitude Negros-Cebu earthquake as the deadliest in 2012 with its 113 fatalities.
According to Phivolcs, among the Philippines’ most destructive earthquakes in recent history are:
1968: Casiguran – A 7.3-magnitude tremor, considered at the time as the most destructive in the last 20 years, hit the town of Casiguran, Aurora and the rest of Luzon. The six-story Ruby Tower in Binondo, Manila collapsed, killing around 300 tenants, as other major buildings in the same area were damaged. Extensive landslides and large fissures were observed in the mountainous areas while a tsunami was also recorded.
Read: Ruby Tower earthquake survivors visit hallowed ground
Phivolcs report: Casiguran Earthquake – 02 August 1968
1973: Ragay Gulf – Almost a hundred houses were destroyed while 270 others were damaged in Calauag, Quezon due to a magnitude 7 earthquake. A number of other buildings, roads, railroads and bridges were damaged. The Sumulong highway bridge collapsed while PNR’s railways were “badly twisted” due to the ground movement caused by the quake.
Phivolcs report: Ragay Gulf Earthquake – 17 March 1973
1976: Moro Gulf – Almost 5,000 people were killed by a record 7.9-magnitude earthquake and the resulting tsunami which hit the island of Mindanao. The offshore tremor generated by the Cotabato trench caused a tsunami, said to be responsible for 85 percent of the deaths. “The sea unloaded its fury on everything near the shore. Houses and properties along the coastal beaches of Lanao del Sur and Pagadian were practically washed out. Bits of houses littered the sea and bodies littered the shore,” said the Phivolcs report.
Phivolcs report: Moro Gulf Earthquake – 17 August 1976
1983: Laoag – A 6.5-magnitude tremor, considered the most severe to his north-western Luzon in the last 52 years, left 16 dead and at least 50 injured. Dozens of building were reduced to rubble while landslides affected other parts of Ilocos Norte.
Phivolcs report: Laoag Earthquake – 17 August 1983
1990: Bohol – Similar to the recent earthquake, a shallow seated tectonic tremor (magnitude 6.8) hit Bohol in 1990 and caused panic to the general public. It was also felt in other parts of Visayas and in Mindanao. Six people were killed, 200 injured and 46,000 displaced. With thousands of houses damaged, at least 7,000 people were rendered homeless.
Phivolcs report: Bohol Earthquake – February 8, 1990
1990: Panay – One of the three devastating earthquakes of 1990, the 7.1 magnitude tremor hit Panay island and killed eight people while injuring 41 others. A number of bridges collapsed while large fissures were recorded. In Aklan, a number of churches and other infrastructure were heavily damaged while 15 percent of houses in Culasi, Antique were reported damaged.
Phivolcs report: Panay Earthquake – 14 June 1990
1990: Luzon – At least 1,200 people died in the July 16, 1990 earthquake (magnitude 7.7) that shook Luzon. Baguio City was among the hardest-hit as many hotels and government buildings collapsed killings hundreds in an instant. Because of landslides, the city was isolated from the rest of the Philippines. In Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija, buildings were also heavily damaged resulting in the death of more than 300 people.
Read: Baguio simulates 1990 quake for the young to learn, Baguio folk choose to forget 1990 killer quake
Government report: Luzon Earthquake – 16 July 1990
1994: Mindoro – Tsunami caused by the 7.1-magnitude earthquake killed most of the 78 casualties from the said calamity. Affected by the tsunami were coastal areas in Baco and Calapan, Oriental Mindoro. At least 1530 houses, out of the 7566 damaged, were washed away by the tsunami.
Phivolcs report: Mindoro Earthquake – 15 November 1994
In 2012, a 6.9-magnitude earthquake shook Negros and Cebu, causing landslides and the collapse of several buildings, resulting in the death of at least 52 people. Other reports said at least a hundred people were killed, mostly by landslides. Several bridges were also rendered impassable.
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