Philippines quake: Rescuers clear roads and debris as death toll hits 158

Tens of thousands are still living outside after 1,200 aftershocks continued to hit the region, with one measuring 5.5 in magnitude

The Philippines began clearing roads blocked by debris today as rescue teams searched for survivors of this week's powerful earthquake, with the death toll rising to at least 158.

Tens of thousands of residents of Bohol island, which felt the full force of Tuesday's 7.2 magnitude quake, continued to live outdoors over fears of more aftershocks, of which authorities have recorded 1,200, including one of magnitude 5.5.

Officials said at least 374 had been injured and 22 were believed to still be missing, with some feared to be trapped under a collapsed public hospital and a church in Loon, a Bohol town.

Nearly 17,000 people have yet to return home in the town of Loboc, where the island's second oldest church, the Church of St Peter, was left in ruins after the quake.

“All of them left their houses because of the strong aftershocks,” said Mayor Helen Alaba, who said she had sent out teams of engineers to check if homes were safe.

The national disaster agency said at least 146 of the dead were from Bohol, 630 km (390 miles) south of the capital, Manila. There were 11 deaths on the nearby Cebu islands and another on Siguijor island.

The number of injured reached 374, with at least 22 people missing. The government has declared a state of calamity in Cebu and Bohol, where more than 3.4 million people were affected by the quake. Schools remain closed.

Damage to infrastructure, mostly roads and bridges, was initially estimated at about 179.15 million pesos (£2.6million), a public works official said.

Huge landslides caused by the quakes wrecked more than 130 schools and 2,000 houses, completely destroying some and damaging 34 bridges and nine main roads.

Filipino residents cross on a makeshift bridge, a damaged Avatan Bridge

Engineers say at least three bridges in Bohol are structurally unsound and need to be replaced, the public works official said.

“To make these roads passable at the soonest, they will need millions here, to the tune of about 700 million pesos,” said Bohol governor Edgardo Chatto. “We're not talking of replacements yet.”

The transport department estimates restoring Bohol's damaged port of Tagbilaran City would cost about 500 million pesos.

After providing food and shelter to victims, restoration of Bohol's centuries-old churches, usually thronged by tourists, would top the government's agenda, Chatto said.

Filipino evacuees use their umbrellas to shelter from the rain, waiting for food relief in Sagbayan town  

Loboc, whose residents depend mainly on tourism for their livelihoods, will need several weeks to recover before it can resume such tourist draws as river cruises and sightings of the world's smallest primate, the tarsier, a tourism official said.

Additional reporting by Associated Press

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
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

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Recruitment Genius: IT Support Engineer

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Microsoft Gold partner, our c...

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum