A magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck Central Visayas at around 8:12 a.m. today, October 15.
The quake’s epicenter is around 2 km south of of Carmen, Bohol. The earthquake is tectonic in origin. No tsunami warning was raised because the quake’s epicenter is located inland. The earthquake was felt at various intensities in other parts of Visayas notably Cebu, Siquijor, Negros Oriental, and Southern Leyte among others.
Based on the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council situational report, 67 were dead and 164 were injured as of 6:00 p.m. today. At least 57 of those killed by the quake are from Bohol.
Flights going to Cebu and Bohol were diverted to other airports or returned to Manila. Flights going to and from the two cities were canceled. Ports in Bohol and Cebu are operating in a limited capacity.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) reported that more than 444,000 individuals are affected scattered in six cities and 19 municipalities in Bohol, Cebu and Siquijor.
Classes in public and private schools in the entire Cebu and Bohol provinces and Dumaguete City are suspended tomorrow, October 16. The suspension is made to allow building inspections on schools.
According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), 212 aftershocks were recorded as of 3:00 p.m. today. Aftershocks are expected to continue in the following days. Phivolcs advised the public to remain vigilant and know what to do in an event of an earthquake.
In terms of infrastructure, several facilities, buildings, and roads were damaged. In Bohol, Tagbilaran City Port terminal and some portions of Tagbilaran Airport collapsed. Several roads and bridges became impassable. In Cebu, Mandaue City Public Market collapsed, Cebu City Hall was partially damaged, and DepEd Region VII Building was also damaged. Several commercial establishments in Cebu, Leyte and Negros Occidental were also damaged.
Hospitals were affected by the quake in Cebu. The staff evacuated patients outside the hospitals. Patients at the Cebu City Medical Center were transferred to other hospital and a central gym. While Castillo Memorial Hospital was severely damaged with reports of patients trapped. Rescue efforts are ongoing.
Meanwhile, at least eight old churches considered as heritage sites were totally destroyed or suffered significant damage. Heritage professionals advise the public to not enter the damaged churches for safety reasons and to help in future conservation efforts.