Philippines revises down death toll from quake

Residents cross a damaged section of a national highway in the central Philippines on February 7.

Story highlights

  • State media had cited the Philippine Army as saying the death toll was 48
  • But Army later reduced the total to 22 after learning that not all the dead had been confirmed
  • The government disaster agency puts the current death toll at 26, with 71 still missing
  • The area where the quake struck on Monday continues to be rattled by aftershocks
The Philippine authorities have significantly revised down the death toll from a strong earthquake that shook the country's third-largest island on Monday.
The state-run Philippines News Agency had reported Tuesday that the number of people killed by the 6.7-magnitude quake off the coast of Negros had climbed to 48. It cited the Philippine Army, which was basing the figure on information from local government units.
But PNA later reported that the army had reduced the total to 22 confirmed dead after it "learned that not all believed dead in various towns and cities were accounted for."
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council on Wednesday put the official death toll at 26, with 71 people still missing.
The quake in the central Philippines on Monday damaged houses, churches and many other buildings. It also set off landslides and has left at least 10 bridges unusable.
The area near the quake continued to be rattled by aftershocks Wednesday.
The Philippines is situated in the so-called Ring of Fire, an arc of fault lines circling the Pacific Basin that is prone to frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.