News / Asia

Magnitude 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Philippines

  • 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)
Simone Orendain
A 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit the Central Philippines Tuesday morning, killing at least 107 people and wounding hundreds more in a popular tourist region.  Centuries-old structures were damaged. 
 
The central part of the country, called the Visayas, is made up of more than a dozen islands and Civil Defense officials say most of the initially reported deaths were in Cebu City. The city is a short boat ride from Bohol Island, a popular tourist destination, where the quake struck. They say they expect the number of casualties to increase as more local governments report damage. Most of the casualties are expected to come from urban areas.
 
Click to enlargeClick to enlarge
x
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
In Manila, the chairman of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, told reporters it was likely there were no immediate reports of mass casualties because Tuesday was a national holiday.
 
“There is no convergence of crowds, particularly in the churches that collapsed.  Had this happened on a Sunday, especially the time was 8:00, then this [would be] another story,” said Gazmin. 
 
An official with the Department of Health told the council there were additional deaths and injuries that the council said it would confirm. 
 
Director Carmencita Banatin said all government hospitals in the worst hit region were on high alert and that there were “still a lot [of injured people] coming in” to hospitals in Bohol. Hundreds of powerful aftershocks forced many to sleep outdoors on Tuesday night, including patients at some hospitals.
 
The earthquake broke off the bell tower of one of the country’s oldest churches, the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu, the current structure of which was built in 1735. Social media photos posted by nearby residents showed several other centuries-old churches in Bohol and Cebu had walls and sections reduced to rubble. 
 
Other buildings in the area partially collapsed, including Cebu City Hall, while major bridges and some roads were broken.  The Mactan-Cebu airport suffered cracks in the ceiling and was temporarily closed with some flights canceled. 
 
Military officials told the council they had pooled personnel whose expertise was in structural damage to help with search and rescue operations.
 
The department of social welfare reported two incidences of people panicking when the ground shook while they waited in line to receive their regular government stipends.  Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman said in one town, the panic caused a stampede that left a four year old dead when she was separated from her mother.
 
Institute of Volcanology and Seismology Director Renato Solidum did not issue a tsunami warning because he said the quake’s epicenter was on land.  In a mixture of Filipino and English he told reporters the quake happened on a shorter fault line and that it was not near any other fault lines.
 
“Just remember that faults in the Philippines move on their own.  So it might happen that there could be one that moves.  So we just need to be prepared always,” said Solidum.
 
Solidum also said the worst of the aftershocks, which he did not expect to be stronger than magnitude 4.5, would occur over the next two days.
 
The Philippine islands are mostly comprised of two major volcanoes, making the country prone to earthquakes.  It lies on what is known as the Pacific “Rim of Fire.”

You May Like

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Keen from: Philippines
October 16, 2013 11:25 AM
In this time of darkness, we FILIPINOS should unite and face our great adversary...This is just yet another challenge to test the strength of our FAITH..I am personally thankful for the millions of lives spared and for those who haven't made it, let's us pray for their souls...


by: van from: philippines
October 16, 2013 8:09 AM
Thanks for the prayers. It really helps a lot. May this calamity lead us closer to the Lord.


by: anna jacqueline
October 15, 2013 10:03 AM
Let's all pray together for the Philippines.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid