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Local authorities in central Philippines have revised the death toll from a 7.2-magnitude earthquake to 110 early Wednesday as disaster relief agencies struggled to set up tent camps for hundreds of displaced people.
The Philippine National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said in a report that most of the fatalities occurred in Bohol province, with other deaths reported in Cebu province and Siquijor province. The three provinces are located south of the capital Manila.
Hundreds have been reported injured in the quake which lasted up to 20 seconds, residents said. There were dozens of reported aftershocks.
The quake, which struck at 8:12 am Tuesday with a focal point below Carmen City in Bohol, was sufficiently strong to collapse a number of bridges and buildings, including a historic church in the south of the island, and cut power to the three provinces and beyond affecting some 558,390 families – 2.84 million people.
The Philippines lies along the infamous “Ring of Fire” – an area of the Pacific Ocean spanning several thousand kilometres that is prone to recurring earth and sea tremors.
The military has been called in to help relief efforts in the provinces. Philippine President Benigno Aquino is expected to visit the region on Wednesday.