An earthquake with energy equivalent to “32 Hiroshima bombs” jolted the Visayas, and parts of Mindanao and southern Luzon early Tuesday morning, causing centuries-old churches and modern buildings to crumble, disrupting power and phone services, setting off stampedes and killing at least 97 people.
The nuclear bomb dropped over Hiroshima, Japan, on Aug. 6, 1945, packed power equal to 20,000 tons of TNT.
The 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck at 8:12 a.m. with its epicenter at 2 kilometers southeast of Carmen town in Bohol province, known for its chocolate hills and tarsiers.
Offices and schools were closed for a national holiday—the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha—which may have saved lives.
Bohol and Cebu have declared a state calamity as the death toll rose to 97 in the two provinces, including a 9-year-old girl who died in a stampede that broke out at the queue for the cash transfer program in Pinamungahan town, Cebu.
Panglao is probably my favorite place in the world. My siblings and I were just in Bohol in late August, enjoying the food, the trip down the river, the fine sand of the beach. My siblings, who were visiting Bohol for the first time, fell in love with the place. Less than two months later and the Baclayon Church is ruined, the Chocolate Hills ravaged. I grieve the fatalities, and the ruined churches and national landmarks.
Many roads and bridges were reported damaged, but historic churches dating from the Spanish colonial period suffered the most. Among them is the country’s oldest, the 16th-century Basilica of the Holy Child in Cebu, which lost its bell tower.
A 17th-century limestone church in Loboc town, southwest of Carmen, crumbled to pieces, with nearly half of it reduced to rubble.
Bohol Administrator Alfonso Damalerio said two other churches in Maribojoc and Loon were destroyed.
The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council of Bohol also received reports of damage to old churches in Loay, Clarin and Baclayon as well as the belfry in Panglao.
Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/507373/bohol-earthquake-strongest-to-hit-visayas-and-mindanao-in-over-20-years#ixzz2hs2halHj