Dozens dead as magnitude-7.1 earthquake hits the Philippines

Updated 10:28 PM EDT, Tue October 15, 2013

Story highlights

Deaths are reported in several areas

Earthquake strikes on a national holiday in the Philippines

It was centered near a town in Bohol province

There was damage in the city of Cebu, a witness tells CNN

(CNN) —  

A magnitude-7.1 earthquake struck the central Philippines on Tuesday, leaving at least 99 people dead and 276 more injured, and rattling many who were celebrating a religious holiday.

The quake, which struck early in the morning, crumbled a number of buildings and sent panicked people streaming into the streets, witnesses said.

The bulk of the casualties were in Bohol province.

Most of those killed were hit by falling rubble, the agency reported. So far, nearly 2.9 million people from 560,000 families have been affected.

In an update issued Thursday evening, the council said 21 people were missing – all of them in Bohol.

Landslides were reported in Cebu, according to the disaster council, which also reported stampedes at two venues in that province, as well as damage to a port terminal, an airport tower, a fish port, a public market, schools, churches, hospitals, bridges, roads, government buildings and residences across Bohol, Cebu and outlying areas.

Power was restored to most affected areas, except Bohol province, the city of Cadiz and part of the city of Iloilo.

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 quake a slightly higher rating: 7.2 magnitude.

Maryann Zamora, a communications specialist with the charity World Vision, reported seeing glass and concrete in the streets of the city of Cebu, about 60 kilometers north of the epicenter.

“Right now we are in the streets because it is unsafe to be inside,” she said by phone, her voice shaking as one of more than 10 aftershocks hit. “Tell everyone to pray for us.”

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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.

Catigbian, which has a population of 23,000, is in the province of Bohol.

Tourist Robert Michael Poole said he was riding a bike in Bohol, where 149 of the deaths occurred, when the earthquake struck and cracked the road in front of him.

“I live in Tokyo; I am used to earthquakes,” Poole said. “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 destroyed.

“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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CNN’s Joseph Netto and Tim Schwarz contributed to this story.