Philippines earthquake: Death toll rises in tourist islands Bohol and Cebu

Markets and buildings collapsed in Bohol and in the nearby Cebu province when the 7.2 magnitude quake struck

A strong earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 has struck popular tourist islands in the Philippines killing over 90 people, some of whom were hit whilst praying in a centuries-old church, according to reports.

Panic was sparked when low-rise buildings collapsed on at least two islands and historic churches crumbled during the quake. Areas were hit by power cuts, stopping some transport links and forcing hospitals to evacuate patients to open spaces as aftershocks rocked the city of about 870,000 people.

The Associated Press have put the death toll up to "at least" 93 and more than 260 left injured.

Markets and buildings collapsed in Bohol and in the nearby Cebu province when the quake struck at 8.12am this morning. A state of calamity has been declared by the Government in both provinces, state media reported.

Local police report that 77 were killed on nearby Bohol island, where the epicentre of the quake was located and another on Siquijor island according to Rey Balido, a spokesman for the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

At least 15 people died on the island of Cebu, he said. Eight people who had been queuing with others for government aid payments in Cebu were hurt in a stampede caused by the quake.

There were no reports of any foreign tourists among the casualties.

Airline Cebu Pacific cancelled flights to Cebu and Bohol due to the aftershocks and partial damage to airports. Ferry services were also suspended. The Philippine volcanology agency reported at least 20 aftershocks after the initial quake, which was measured at a depth of about 56 km (35 miles).

Transport Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya told Philippine radio that parts of the Tagbilaran port in Bohol had cracked and collapsed. No tsunami warnings were issued although Indonesia's Disaster Mitigation Agency issued a precautionary warning of possible high waves for an area stretching from North Sulawesi to parts of Papua.

Archbishop Leonardo Medroso of Tagbilaran city in Bohol said two people were killed by falling debris whilst praying in a church in the town of Loon. The church is Bohol's biggest and dates back to 1753.

He said a church in Loboc town had also been damaged by the quake Both churches were designated historical treasures, he said. The belfry of the Baclayon church in Bohol province had also crumbled and its facade cracked.

“The damages, at least based on our initial assessment, are enormous,” Medroso told Philippine television.

“The quake was really strong. I am 75 years old already, I have undergone so many earthquakes, but this is the strongest I have experienced,” he said.

Television pictures showed that the belfry of the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño de Cebu, which was also built in the 1700s, had collapsed.

Strong quakes are not uncommon in the central Philippines.

Tens of thousands of people were ordered from their homes when a tsunami warning was issued after an undersea quake in the region in September 2012.

One person was killed in that quake, which resulted in only minor damage and small waves in some areas.

Additional reporting by Reuters

News
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
science
News
Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Extras
indybest
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Travel
Dinosaurs Unleashed at the Eden Project
travel
Arts and Entertainment
music
Sport
football
Life and Style
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the first online sale
techDespite a host of other online auction sites and fierce competition from Amazon, eBay is still the most popular e-commerce site in the UK
News
i100
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Quantitative Analyst (Financial Services, Graduate, SQL, VBA)

£45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Quantitative Analyst (Financial Services, ...

Application Support Engineer (C++, .NET, VB, Perl, Bash, SQL)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Application Support Engineer (C++, .NET, VB, Per...

C# .NET Software Developer (Client-Side, SQL, VB6, WinForms)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Software Developer (Client-Side, SQL, VB...

C# Developer (Genetic Algorithms, .NET 4.5, TDD, SQL, AI)

£40000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home