CEBU, Philippines — The death toll from a magnitude 7.2 earthquake that struck the central Philippine island of Bohol reached 110 Wednesday, with only three people pulled alive from rubble.
The three were rescued in Cebu province, about 350 miles south of Manila, hours after Tuesday morning's earthquake shattered office buildings and homes and caused many centuries-old churches to crumble.
In Bohol, the quake's epicenter, rescuers counted 100 dead, regional military commander Lt. Gen. Roy Deveraturda said. Cebu reported nine fatalities, and one died on another island.
The small coastal town of Loon reported 20 fatalities, the highest in Bohol, including those buried in a hospital and a church.
Many roads and bridges were damaged, making rescue operations difficult. But historic churches dating to the Spanish colonial period suffered the most. The country's oldest, the 16th century Basilica of the Holy Child in Cebu, lost its bell tower.
The entire province was without electricity.
Authorities set up tents for those displaced by the quake, but many who lost their homes moved in with relatives, Bohol Gov. Edgardo Chatto said.
Damage was extensive in densely populated Cebu city, across a narrow strait from Bohol; a number of deaths occurred when a building in the port and the roof of a market area collapsed.
When the earthquake struck, people who were in a gym in Cebu rushed outside in panic, crushing five people to death and injuring eight, said Neil Sanchez, provincial disaster management officer.
Offices and schools were closed for a national holiday — the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha — which may have reduced the number of casualties.
Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times