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    Earthquake strikes central Philippines, killing at least 20

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    Originally published on October 15, 2013

    At least twenty people died when buildings collapsed in the central Philippines on Tuesday after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit the region.

    According to reports, the earthquake was centred 629 kilometres from the capital Manila and caused the collapse of several buildings in Bohol and Cebu islands.

    According to Al Jazeera English, four people died in Bohol under the rubbles, while dozens were injured.

    A church was reported damaged in Tagbilaran, while another 17th century church in Loboc town, southwest of Carmen, crumbled to pieces, with nearly half of it reduced to rubble.

    Both churches were designated historical treasures by Archbishop Leonardo Medroso of Tagbilaran, Reuters reported.

    According to civil defence officials, five more people died in Cebu island when part of a fish port collapsed. The roof of a market in the city of Mandaue also collapsed, killing two and injuring at least 19. Among the casualties of the quake, there were also four children, killed following a stampede.

    People were evacuated from buildings and patients were evacuated from hospitals as several aftershocks ranging between 5.4 and 4.6 in magnitude followed the quake.

    There were no reports of any foreign tourists among the casualties, Reuters reported.

    The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has not issue a Pacific-wide tsunami threat, although Indonesia's Disaster Mitigation Agency put out a precautionary warning of possible high waves for an area stretching from North Sulawesi to parts of Papua.

    According to reports, Cebu and Bohol's airports were partially damaged and Airline Cebu Pacific cancelled flights.

    Strong quakes are not uncommon in the Philippines, as the country lies along the Pacific Ring of Fire.


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