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Death toll in Philippines quake jumps to 93

Bohol province bore the brunt of the damage from the earthquake, recording 77 of the reported deaths.

Reuters

Bohol province bore the brunt of the damage from the earthquake, recording 77 of the reported deaths.

CEBU, Philippines — The death toll from a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck the central Philippine island of Bohol on Tuesday rose to 93, as rescuers struggled to reach patients in a collapsed hospital. Centuries-old stone churches crumbled and wide areas were without power.

Bohol’s police chief, Dennis Agustin, said 77 of the deaths came from the province. At least 15 others died in nearby Cebu province and another on Siquijor Island.

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The quake struck at 8:12 a.m. and was centered about 20 miles below Carmen city, where many small buildings collapsed.

Many roads and bridges were reported damaged, making rescue operations difficult. But historic churches dating from the Spanish colonial period suffered the most. Among them was the country’s oldest, the 16th-century Basilica of the Holy Child in Cebu, which lost its bell tower.

The highest number of dead — 18 — were in the municipality of Loon, 26 miles west of Carmen, where an unknown number of patients were trapped inside the Congressman Castillo Memorial Hospital, which partially collapsed.

As night fell, the entire province was in the dark after the quake cut power supplies. Windy weather and rain also forced back a military rescue helicopter.

Authorities were setting up tents for those displaced by the quake, while others who lost their homes moved in with their relatives, according to Bohol’s governor, Edgardo Chatto.

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