Major earthquake in central Philippines kills 67
Tremors toppled buildings sending panicked people onto streets
Residents spend the night on the side of the road due to aftershocks from an earthquake in Cebu city, central Philippines, yesterday. Photograph: Erik De Castro/Reuters
A powerful earthquake violently shook the central Philippines yesterday morning, killing at least 67 people and injuring hundreds.
The earthquake was centred about 50km underground near the small town of Carmen, on the island of Bohol, and struck at 8.12am, said Renato Solidum, the director of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.
“A magnitude 7 earthquake has an energy equivalent to around 32 Hiroshima atomic bombs,” Solidum said. “This one had a magnitude of 7.2.” The tremors reverberated across adjacent islands of the central Philippines, toppling structures and sending panicked people into the streets.
Local television showed obliterated buildings, cracked roads, downed bridges and chaotic evacuations on Bohol. The quake also damaged major buildings in Cebu City, a heavily populated commercial centre on a nearby island. Among those hit were a shopping mall, a hospital and a public market.
The main airport on Bohol was temporarily closed, as were several ports in the central Philippines, while officials inspected them for safety.
The earthquake killed at least 67 people. Dozens died on the island of Bohol, 15 in nearby Cebu and one on the neighbouring island of Siquijor, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council.
People killed included a four-year-old girl who was trampled in the town of Toledo, on Cebu island, when the earthquake shook a building where people were receiving cash grants from a government programme to help the poor. – (New York Times)