Death Toll in Philippines Quake Climbs; Some Hospital Patients Trapped

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

CEBU, Philippines (AP) -- The death toll from a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck the central Philippines is climbing.

The quake was centered 20 miles below Carmen city on the island of Bohol, where many small buildings collapsed. Deaths and damage have also been reported in Cebu (SAY'-boo) province and other nearby islands.

More than 90 people are known to have been killed, with the highest number of dead in the municipality of Loon, about 26 miles west of the epicenter. An unknown number of patients are trapped inside a partially collapsed hospital there.

Many roads and bridges have been damaged. That combined with power outages and windy weather and rain have been making rescue operations difficult.

Historic churches dating from the Spanish colonial period have suffered the most, including the country's oldest, the 16th-century Basilica of the Holy Child in Cebu, which lost its bell tower.

The quake also set off stampedes in two cities. People gathered in a gym in Cebu rushed outside in a panic when the quake struck, crushing five people to death and injuring eight others.

However, the quake was centered inland and did not cause a tsunami.


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