More than 100 dead after earthquake hits the Philippines

Story highlights

  • Death toll rises to 144; almost 300 people injured
  • More than 20 people are missing
  • The quake was centered near a town in Bohol province
  • It hit on a national holiday in the Philippines

The death toll from the magnitude-7.1 earthquake in the central Philippines rose to 144 on Wednesday, authorities said.

The quake, which struck Tuesday, injured 291 people and rattled many celebrating a religious holiday.

The bulk of the casualties were in Bohol province.

More than 20 people are missing, and authorities are checking into reports of people trapped in collapsed buildings, the Philippines News Agency reported.

The quake was centered about 620 kilometers (385 miles) south-southeast of Manila, near Catigbian, and its depth was 20 kilometers (12 miles), according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The Philippines disaster council gave the temblor a slightly higher rating: 7.2 magnitude.

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Tuesday was a national holiday, the beginning of the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha.

    There was no widespread threat of a tsunami, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said. It warned that earthquakes this large can sometimes cause tsunamis within 100 kilometers of the epicenter.

    Tourist Robert Michael Poole said he was riding a bike in Bohol when the earthquake struck and cracked the road in front of him.

    "It was very strong," Poole said. "I live in Tokyo. I am used to earthquakes. But this one was very strong. It shocked a lot of people here."

    He said he was able to move around and document some of the destruction, including a giant church that was decimated.

    "Lucky thing is that it is a holiday here today and it happened at a time when nobody was in the church," Poole said.

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