Philippines Earthquake: 93 Reported Dead

A Philippines earthquake caused extensive damage and left at least 93 dead. The 7.2 magnitude quake was centered in Bohol province. Many residents and visitors were celebrating the start of the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha.

Authorities report that Bohol province and Cebu city sustained extensive damage. Local officials recorded 69 deaths in Bohol and at least 15 in Cebu. Numerous buildings collapsed in the quake, trapping people inside. Rescue teams continue searching for survivors in the rubble.

Eid al-Adha is a Philippines national holiday, prompting closure of businesses and schools. If residents had left their homes, the death toll could be much higher. Residents are also thankful that the quake struck before they left for church.

As reported by Fox News, President Benigno Aquino III will arrive in the area on Wednesday. He plans to visit Bohol and Cebu.

Regional military commander Lieutenant General Roy Deveraturda said air force and navy troops are on their way. The soldiers were recalled from furlough to provided assistance to the devastated area.

As reported by CBS News, the Philippines earthquake was centered inland and deep below the surface. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center does not expect a tsunami to form.

Numerous buildings were evacuated to prevent further injuries. Hospitals were forced to move patients into the streets to protect them from falling debris.

Airports are reportedly operating as usual. Officials said the buildings and runways sustained only minor damage.

Officials report that several historical churches received extensive damage. Basilica of the Holy Child in Cebu dates back to the 16th-century. The earthquake destroyed the entire bell tower. A 17th century church in Loboc town crumbled to the ground. Less than of the building remains intact.

The death toll is expected to rise as rescue workers clear the debris. The Philippines earthquake lasted lass than 30 seconds, but the impact was devastating.

[Image via Flickr]