[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific

Philippine rescuers scour rubble after quake

Efforts under way to find survivors after 'calamitous' earthquake kills at least 151 people on Philippine islands.

Last Modified: 17 Oct 2013 11:17
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Rescuers dug through the rubble of collapsed buildings looking for survivors in the wake of a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that killed at least 151 people on the Philippine islands of Bohol, Cebu and Siquijor.

Officials said on Wednesday that 234 were injured and at least 22 people were missing, some under a collapsed public hospital, church and a home in the town of Loon on Bohol island, 630km south of the capital, Manila.

"The most heavily hit in terms of casualties was the town of Loon, and there are still ongoing processes there, of recovery," Edgardo Chatto, governor of Bohol, said.

On the island of Bohol, the quake's epicentre, emergency services said they counted at least 100 bodies. Officials said that 23 bridges were damaged, most impassable, and five roads were closed, making rescue operations difficult.

Officials feared the toll would rise as communications with remote areas were re-established.

Al Jazeera's Jamela Alindogan said the local government had recorded at least 800 aftershocks since the quake struck. The subsequent tremors caused further damage and left residents anxious about returning to their homes.

The biggest issue at the moment in Bohol is security, she said.

'Long road to recovery'

Patrick Fuller, from the Red Cross, told Al Jazeera that authorities were responding efficiently to the crisis.

"It will be a long road to recovery, because so many people have lost their homes," he said.

 

Officials said they had managed to pull three survivors from the rubble of shattered office buildings, homes and century-old churches on Cebu.

Many historic churches dating from the Spanish colonial period had suffered tremendous damage.

"The heritage old churches are also very close to the hearts of the Boholanos. So, I have talked to the Bishop and I have talked to the President and we were saying that we have to ask people and authorities to keep all the rubbles in tact [in place]," Chatto said.

Nearly half of a 17th-century limestone church in Loboc town, southwest of Carmen, was reduced to rubble, as was the largest church on the island in Loon town, where three worshippers were buried alive.

The entire province was without electricity after the quake cut power supplies.

The government has declared a "state of calamity" in both Bohol and Cebu, triggering a freeze on prices there.

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.

467

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
More than fifty years of an armed struggle for independence from Spain might be coming to an end in the Basque Country.
After the shooting-down of flight MH17, relatives ask what the carrier has learned from still-missing MH370.
Human rights and corporate responsibility prompt a US church to divest from companies doing business with Israel.
Afghan militias have accumulated a lengthy record of human-rights abuses, including murders and rapes.
Growing poverty is strengthening a trend among UK Muslims to fund charitable work closer to home.
join our mailing list