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

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows to Fight IS 'Until They Are Killed or We Die'

In wide-ranging interview with VOA Persian service reporter, Fuad Masum describes conflict as new type of fight that will take time to win More

Video Russian Anti-Corruption Campaigner Slams Putin’s Crackdown on Dissent

In interview with VOA Alexei Navalny says he believes new law against 'undesirable NGOs' part of move to keep Russian president in power More

Video On The Scene: In Ethiopia, 'Are You a Journalist?' Is a Loaded Question

VOA's Anita Powell describes the difficulties faced by reporters in fully conveying the story in a country where people are reticent to share their true opinions 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.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs