News / Asia

20 Killed in Philippines Earthquake

  • A view of the destroyed St. Michael Parish church in Clarin, Bohol a day after an earthquake hit, central Philippines, Oct. 16, 2013.
  • Residents walk on a damaged highway at Loboc township, Bohol province in central Philippines, Oct. 16, 2013.
  • Residents stay in makeshift shelters near the rubble of the centuries-old Our Lady of Light church in Loon, Bohol, a day after an earthquake, Philippines, Oct. 16, 2013.
  • Members of the Philippine Coast Guard carry sacks filled with relief goods to load on-board the BRP Corregidor at a port in Manila, Oct. 16, 2013.
  • A view of the damaged Basilica Minore of Sto Nino de Cebu church after an earthquake struck Cebu city, in central Philippines, Oct. 15, 2013.
  • Rescue members recover the body of a vendor killed after an earthquake hit Pasil market in Cebu, central Philippines, Oct. 15, 2013.
  • Firefighters stand near damaged vehicles after an earthquake struck Cebu city, in central Philippines, Oct. 15, 2013.
  • Earthquake victims gather at the parking lot of a government hospital following a quake that hit Cebu city in central Philippines, Oct. 15, 2013.
  • Hospital patients rest after they were evacuated after an earthquake struck Cebu city, in central Philippines, Oct. 15, 2013.
  • People walk near the damaged Loboc church, Bohol, Phillippines, Oct. 15, 2013. (Picture courtesy of Robert Michael Poole)

20 Killed in Philippines Earthquake

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A strong earthquake has hit a popular tourist area in the central Philippines, killing at least 20 people and tearing down several historic buildings.

The 7.2-magnitude quake struck early Tuesday, sending frightened residents and visitors rushing out of their homes and businesses.

Sian Maynard, a freelance coordinator in Cebu City, told VOA she was awoken by the 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," said Maynard.

A defense spokesman said 15 of the deaths occurred in Cebu province, which is home to some of the country's most beautiful beaches. He said five others died in the neighboring Bohol and Siquijor islands.

Pictures on social media showed extensive damage to shops and roads torn apart by the quake. Maynard says several of the area's historic buildings suffered major damage.

20 Killed in Philippines Earthquakei
X
October 15, 2013
A strong earthquake has hit a popular tourist area in the central Philippines, killing at least 20 people and tearing down several historic buildings.


"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," said Maynard.

The quake was centered 56 kilometers above Bohol Island, which is popular with tourists for its so-called "Chocolate Hills."

No tsunami warning was issued, but several powerful aftershocks were reported in the hours after the initial quake, prompting many residents to stay outside.  

Tuesday is a national holiday in the Philippines, 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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