Death toll in Bohol, Cebu quake now 144-A A +A
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
CEBU CITY (4th Update) -- The death toll from the magnitude 7.2 quake that struck Bohol, Cebu and affected nearby provinces rose to 144 Wednesday with only three people pulled alive from rubble, said officials.
The three were rescued in nearby Cebu province hours after Tuesday's quake shattered office buildings and homes and caused many centuries-old churches to crumble.
In Bohol, the quake's epicenter, rescuers counted 134 dead, said regional military commander Lieutenant General Roy Deveraturda. Cebu reported nine fatalities, and one died in Siquijor island.
The small coastal town of Loon reported 20 fatalities, the highest in Bohol, including those buried in a hospital and a church.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said that as of 5 p.m. Wednesday, 291 people were injured while three were rescued in Cebu, Bohol and Siquijor. Twenty-three others remained missing in Bohol.
The quake has so far affected 558,390 families or 2,841,956 people.
The NDRRMC also said 823 aftershocks have been recorded as of 9 a.m. Wednesday.
President Benigno Aquino III and some Cabinet officials are in Bohol Wednesday morning and proceeded to Cebu in the afternoon.
Secretaries Manuel Roxas II (Local Government), Dinky Soliman (Social Welfare), Joseph Abaya (Transportation) and Rogelio Singson (Public Works) were already in Bohol to oversee rescue, clearing and relief operations.
The quake struck at 8:12 a.m. and was centered about 33 kilometers (20 miles) below Carmen City in Bohol, where many small buildings collapsed.
The Department of Public Works and Highways reported damaged roads and bridges in Bohol and Cebu. In Bohol, 20 bridges were affected by the earthquake and 18 of which are not passable.
As a result of the earthquake’s destructive force, the following bridges were damaged and impassable: Abatan Bridge along Tagbilaran North Road, bridge collapse; Camayaan Bridge along Tagbilaran North Road in Cortes, bridge approach damage; Tultogan Bridge along Tagbilaran North Road in Calape, bridge approach collapse; Tagbuane Bridge along Tagbilaran East Road in Albur, bridge collapse; Moalong Bridge along Tagbilaran North Road, bridge collapse; Hunan Bridge along Tagbilaran North Road, settlement of bridge approach; Taguimtim, Damiao and Daet Bridges along Tagbilaran North Road in Buenavista, settlement of bridge approach; Palo, Hinawanan, Bonkokan, Banban, and Panangatan Bridges along Tagbilaran East Road, bridge approaches with cracks/settlement; and Agape Bridge along Loay Interior Road, bridge approaches with cracks.
Two other bridges were damaged but passable, namely, Suarez Bridge along Dawis Panglao Road and Salog Bridge along Tagbilaran North Road, while the Panangatan River Control, a flood control structure along Tagbilaran East Road, was destroyed.
The Tagbilaran port is now open for fast craft as the Civil Aeronautics Board is looking at arranging free trips for relief and rescue efforts.
Relief goods from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) were already transported by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to Bohol.
Historic churches dating from the Spanish colonial period suffered the most. Among them was the country's oldest, the 16th-century Basilica of the Holy Child in Cebu, which lost its bell tower.
Nearly half of a 17th-century limestone church in Loboc town, southwest of Carmen, was reduced to rubble.
Extensive damage also hit densely populated Cebu City, causing deaths when a building in Pasil port and the roof of a market area collapsed. The province was also placed under a state of calamity.
The quake also set off two stampedes in nearby city of Toledo and Pinamungajan town.
Neil Sanchez, Cebu provincial disaster management officer, said when the quake struck, people gathered in Barba Sports B-Complex in Toledo City rushed outside in a panic, crushing five people to death and injuring eight others.
The stampede in Pinamungajan also killed several others, including a four-year-old girl.
Landslides were also noted in Barangay Kawasan, Aloguinsan, as well as in Barangays Gutlang, Canulam, Canbantug, Lapay and Bulasa in Argao, Cebu after the tremor.
"We ran out of the building, and outside, we hugged trees because the tremors were so strong," said Vilma Yorong, a Provincial Government employee in Bohol.
"When the shaking stopped, I ran to the street and there I saw several injured people. Some were saying their church has collapsed," she told The Associated Press by phone.
As fear set in, Yorong and the others ran up a mountain, afraid a tsunami would follow the quake. "Minutes after the earthquake, people were pushing each other to go up the hill," she said.
But the quake was centered inland and did not cause a tsunami.
The earthquake also was deeper below the surface than a 6.9-magnitude temblor last year in waters near Negros Island, also in the central Philippines, that killed nearly 100 people.
Aledel Cuizon said the quake that caught her in her bedroom sounded like "a huge truck that was approaching and the rumbling sound grew louder as it got closer."
She and her neighbors ran outside, where she saw concrete electric poles "swaying like coconut trees." It lasted 15-20 seconds, she said.
Cebu City's hospitals quickly moved patients into the streets, basketball courts and parks.
(Video by Jean Mondonedo-Ynot/Sunnex)
Cebu province, about 570 kilometers (350 miles) south of Manila, has a population of more than 2.6 million people. Cebu is the second largest city after Manila. Nearby Bohol has 1.2 million people and is popular among foreigners because of its beach and island resorts and famed Chocolate Hills.
The Philippine archipelago is located in the Pacific "Ring of Fire," where earthquakes and volcanic activity are common. A magnitude-7.7 quake killed nearly 2,000 people on the northern island of Luzon in 1990. (AP/JK/Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)