A 7.1-magnitude earthquake in central Philippines has killed around 90 people. The quake downed buildings, cracked roads and damaged some of the county’s oldest Catholic churches.
The tremor occurred Tuesday morning 33 kilometers (20 miles) south-east of Carmen town in Bohol Island, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said. The quake hit three islands that are among the most popular tourist attractions in the country, authorities said.
Reports say 77 of the deaths occuring in Bohol province, and hundreds have been injured. Nearly 300 aftershocks have been registered, with Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology Director Renato Solidum saying the quake's energy amounted to "around 32 Hiroshima atomic bombs."
"The concern after the earthquake would be the aftershocks that could cause damaged structures to totally collapse," he said. "People have to inspect damage before re-occupying buildings."
The quake caused roads to crack and buildings to collapse including at least three of the oldest Catholic churches in the Philippines.
Two of the churches are located in Bohol province, the epicenter of the tremor.
The 17th-century Church of San Pedro in Loboc town crumbled (pictured above), with nearly half of it reduced to rubble. Part of the late 16th century Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in Baclayon also caved in, according to local officials.
In Cebu City, the bell tower of the 385-year-old Basilica del Santo Nino also fell.
Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are common in the Philippines, which lies along the chain of islands known as the Pacific "Ring of Fire."
hc/ph (AP, AFP, dpa)
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