Death toll in Bohol, Cebu quake now at 42

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

CEBU (13th Update) -- A magnitude 7.2 earthquake jolted Carmen, Bohol and other parts of the Visayas and Mindanao Tuesday morning, killing at least 42 people and injuring dozens others.

At least 15 people were confirmed dead in Cebu City, 26 in Bohol and one in Siquijor as of 1 p.m. Tuesday.

Officials said more than 100 people were injured and the number is expected to increase as the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council still has to receive reports from local government units.

As of 1 p.m., two persons were reported killed in Mandaue City, Cebu when a portion of the public market collapsed. Seventeen others were injured.

In Toledo City, also in Cebu, six people were injured in a stampede at Barba Sports B-Complex, while eight were hurt in a similar incident in Pinamungahan, including a four-year-old girl identified only as Sheila Mia.

Cebu City Vice Mayor Edgar Labella said in radio interview that four others were killed after a slab from Pasil market fell on them.

"We're quite fortunate today is a holiday, not too many people in (office) buildings," he said.

Neil Sanchez of the local disaster council in Cebu told ANC that a school building collapsed in Talisay City and several schoolchildren were trapped in the debris.

Also in Talisay, a motor vehicle accident was reported due to shaking, while a portion of Monterey School collapsed, said Sanchez.

Damage to properties was also reported in Boljoon, Tudela, and Ronda, all located south of Cebu.

Sanchez also said that landslides happened in Barangay Kawasan, Aloguinsan, as well as in Barangay Gutlang, Canulam, Canbantug, Lapay and Bulasa in Argao.

Several properties and structures, including centuries-old churches, in Bohol were also damaged by the quake, particularly in Loon and Loboc towns.

The centuries-old Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino in downtown Cebu City also sustained damages.

The famous Baclayon church in Bohol also had cracks in its facade and its belfry was damaged, said Tagbilaran Archbishop Leonardo Medroso.

"The provincial disaster risk reduction management council is already busy with the rescue efforts. We assure our people that the Provincial Government is extending assistance to the affected residents," said Bohol Provincial Board Member Yul Lopez in a television interview.

The provinces of Bohol and Cebu declared state of calamity Tuesday afternoon.

A magnitude 6.8 quake also jolted Bohol in February 1990, which triggered a tsunami.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) Director Renato Solidum Jr. said in a radio interview that there is no indication the quake on Tuesday can cause a tsunami since its origin is inland.

Phivolcs has so far recorded 110 aftershocks since the magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit Bohol at 8:12 a.m. Tuesday, with the epicenter at two kilometers southeast of Carmen, Bohol.

Bohol quake
Location of the earthquake that hit Carmen, Bohol on Tuesday, October 15, 2013. (Source: Phivolcs)

Radio reports said the quake was also felt in Negros Oriental, and even as far as Iligan City in Mindanao.

In Iloilo, the quake prompted motorists to stop vehicles and many people ran out of buildings. Power outage was also reported after the quake.

The Philippine Coast Guard suspended trips to Cebu on Tuesday, while Coast Guard commandant Rear Admiral Rodolfo Isorena placed its personnel in Cebu and Bohol on high alert.

Major airports and most ports in Visayas were also cleared by the Department of Transportation and Communications for operations.

In a radio interview, Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said the Mactan International Airport in Lapu-Lapu City was cleared for operations following an inspection.

Abaya also said Tagbilaran Airport in Bohol sustained some damages. The ceiling of the airport terminal collapsed, but Abaya said it can operate after a brief cleanup. However, he said Tagbilaran Port may have to undergo further inspection.

Classes in the cities of Cebu and Dumaguete in Central Visayas will be suspended Wednesday to allow an inspection of the schools there, the Philippine Information Agency reported.

The Department of Education's office in Dumaguete City supervises 12 public elementary schools and two public secondary schools.

State-run Philippine Information Agency said that according to Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, the suspension applied to all public and private schools.

(Virgil Lopez/JK/Sunnex)

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