PanARMENIAN.Net – The death toll from a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck the central Philippines rose to 85, police said Tuesday, as more reports trickled in about toppled buildings and historic churches near the epicenter, according to the Associated Press.
Bohol police chief Dennis Agustin said that 69 of the deaths came from the province, where the quake hit near the town of Carmen. At least 16 others died in nearby Cebu province and another on Siquijor Island.
The quake struck at 8:12 a.m. and was centered about 33 kilometers (20 miles) below Carmen on Bohol Island, where many buildings collapsed, roads cracked up and bridges fell.
Extensive damage also hit densely populated Cebu city, across a narrow strait from Bohol, causing deaths when a building in the port and the roof of a market area collapsed.
At least 20 people in the Philippines have died in the earthquakeThe quake set off two stampedes in nearby cities. When it struck, people gathered in a gym in Cebu rushed outside in a panic, crushing five people to death and injuring eight others, said Neil Sanchez, provincial disaster management officer.
But the quake was centered inland and did not cause a tsunami.
Offices and schools were closed for a national holiday — the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha — which may have saved lives.
The earthquake also was deeper below the surface than the 6.9-magnitude temblor last year in waters near Negros Island, also in the central Philippines, that killed nearly 100 people.