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99 Killed in Philippines Earthquake

Rescuers are searching for survivors in isolated areas of the central Philippines, a day after a powerful earthquake struck.

Officials say the death toll from the quake has risen to at least 99 people. Hundreds more are wounded.

Tuesday's 7.2-magnitude quake was centered near Bohol Island, which is popular with tourists for its so-called "Chocolate Hills." The quake and several powerful aftershocks collapsed buildings, ripped apart roads, and sent frightened residents rushing out of their homes and businesses.

A freelance coordinator in nearby Cebu City, Sian Maynard , told VOA she was awoken by Tuesday's temblor, which was the strongest she has experienced.



"I was sleeping in, and I felt my room shake and I saw that the books on my bookshelf were falling off. Then I heard my mom screaming for me to get out of the house."



Maynard says several of the area's historic buildings suffered major damage.





"A bell tower in one of our oldest churches has collapsed and (there is) lots of other structural damage around the city, as well. In Bohol, which was supposedly the quake's epicenter, a 400 year-old church collapsed, also."



Tuesday was a national holiday, the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha, which may have led to a reduction in casualties, as many schools and offices were closed.

Earthquakes are common in the Philippines, which lies along the Pacific "Rim of Fire.''

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