Church Expresses Love and Support Following Earthquake in the Philippines
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued the following statement today following the earthquake in the Philippines:
“We extend our prayers and love to the people of the Philippines as they seek to assess the damage from the recent earthquake and care for the individuals and families affected by this tragedy. We are especially mindful of those who are injured or who have lost loved ones.
“Church leaders are working with local officials to identify and address local needs. All missionaries of the Church serving in this region are safe and accounted for. Several member homes have been destroyed or damaged, and some Church buildings have sustained minor damage from the quake.”
AP/October 15, 2013, 10:07 PM
Death toll from Philippine earthquake tops 100
This Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013, photo shows a collapsed building in Bohol after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck the central Philippines. /AP PHOTO/STR
In Bohol, the quake's epicenter, rescuers counted 100 dead, said regional military commander Lt. Gen. Roy Deveraturda. Cebu reported nine fatalities, and one died on another island.
There seems little hope of finding any large number of survivors from beneath the rubble of leveled buildings, homes and churches.
The bell of Basilica of the Holy Child lies amid the rubble following a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that hit Cebu city in central Philippines and toppled the bell tower of the Philippines' oldest church Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013.
/AP PHOTO/BULLIT MARQUEZ
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 from 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.
Nearly half of a 17th-century limestone church in Loboc town, southwest of Carmen, was reduced to rubble, as was the largest church on the island in Loon town, where three worshippers were buried alive.
The entire province was without electricity after the quake cut power supplies.
Authorities set up tents for those displaced by the quake, while others who lost their homes moved in with their relatives, Bohol Gov. Edgardo Chatto said.
Extensive damage also hit densely populated Cebu city, across a narrow strait from Bohol, causing deaths when a building in the port and the roof of a market area collapsed.
The quake set off two stampedes in nearby cities. When it struck, people gathered in a gym in Cebu rushed outside in a panic, crushing five people to death and injuring eight others, said Neil Sanchez, provincial disaster management officer.
"We ran out of the building, and outside, we hugged trees because the tremors were so strong," said Vilma Yorong, a provincial government employee in Bohol.
"When the shaking stopped, I ran to the street and there I saw several injured people. Some were saying their church has collapsed," she told The Associated Press by phone.
Offices and schools were closed for a national holiday - the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha - which may have saved lives.
Patients stay outside a hospital to avoid aftershocks following a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that hit Cebu city in the central Philippines on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013.
/AP PHOTO/BULLIT MARQUEZ
Aledel Cuizon said the quake that caught her in her bedroom sounded like "a huge truck that was approaching and the rumbling sound grew louder as it got closer."
She and her neighbors ran outside, where she saw concrete electric poles "swaying like coconut trees." It lasted 15-20 seconds, she said.
Cebu province, about 350 miles south of Manila, has a population of more than 2.6 million people. Cebu is the second largest city after Manila. Nearby Bohol has 1.2 million people and is popular among foreigners because of its beach and island resorts and famed Chocolate Hills.
The Philippine archipelago is located in the Pacific "Ring of Fire," where earthquakes and volcanic activity are common. A magnitude-7.7 quake killed nearly 2,000 people on the northern island of Luzon in 1990.