A 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck the central Philippine island of Bohol on Tuesday left over 100 people dead, with the death toll continuing to rise as rescuers struggled to reach patients in a collapsed hospital. Complicating rescue efforts, the area affected was home to many old structures which seemed to simply crumble.
Around the island, 23 bridges were left impassable. Five roads were closed and 17 old coral-stone churches were damaged. The quake was centered about 385 miles south-southeast of Manila at a depth of 12 miles.
“Right now we are in the streets because it is unsafe to be inside,” said Maryann Zamora, a communications specialist with the charity World Vision in a CNN report. “Tell everyone to pray for us.”While there is no widespread threat of a tsunami, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center warned that earthquakes this large can sometimes cause tsunamis within 100 kilometers of the epicenter.
Bohol is a place of unusual familiarity for me. Almost all my Pinoy and Pinay friends speak highly of the island if not above some of the other thousand islands. And I know one day I’ll be able to walk the lands and sail the seas with my brethren and sistren from my birth country, but until that day comes I’ll just have to make due with their reports and various others on the net like this Stellar feature.
Whitney Weis gives the facts on the island paradise becoming popular with nature tourists because of its eight distinctive regions. To the right you’ll find one of them pictured. Known as the Chocolate Hills visitors come year round even when the mounds aren’t so chocolate looking. For diving fanatics there are really a couple of great finds in Bohol, or should I say off of Bohol. Balicasag has some of the best diving in the entire Philippines according to her notes and Cabilao is perfect for adventurers wanting to go head-to-head with the hammerheads that frequent the waters. There’s much more to this 60-mile long Asian jewel, but you’ll need to see the Stellar piece for the rest. It wouldn’t be fair of me to tell you all here and besides I’ll have my stories to share one of these days.