Saturday 15 June 2024 12:57:31 PHT

Earthquake hits Bohol (updated)

IJsselstein, Tuesday, 15 October 2013 (updated: Sunday, 20 October 2013)

An earthquake with magnitude 7.2 occurred 2 km North-East of Catigbian, Bohol (09.86 N, 124.07 E), Philippines at 8:12:37.20 on Oct 15, 2013. This was followed by several aftershocks in the Bohol and Cebu in the following hours.

The results are devastating, with, so far 198 people reported deceased and considerable damage to roads, houses and buildings.

The destruction is widespread, with the Church of Loboc mostly destroyed, those in Maribojoc and Loon are completely reduced to a pile of stone, and significant damage to the churches in Baclayon, Calape, Tubigon, and Dauis. Island City Mall and the Tagbilaran city hall have suffered significant damage. The bridge crossing Abatan river (on the road from Tagbilaran to Tubigon) collapsed, and about 26 bridges rendered unpassable.

Update 20 October

Detailed information on the earthquake from the USGS site.

List of earthquakes (including aftershocks) detected by PHIVOLCS.

Some details from the latest NDRRMC report:

As of 7:00 AM, 20 October 2013, PHIVOLCS recorded 2.047 aftershocks, 37 of which were felt.

To date, 185 individuals (of which 172 in Bohol) are reported dead, 583 injured, and 9 are missing.

A total of 703,244 families / 3,542,281 persons were affected in 1,394 barangays in 54 municipalities and 8 cities in 6 provinces of Regions VI and VII

Out of the total affected, 78.585 families / 370.495 persons were displaced and served both inside and outside evacuation centers in the Province of Bohol:

Inside 93 Evacuation Centers: 22,816 families / 113,227 persons
Outside Evacuation Centers: 55,769 families / 257,268 persons

A total of 36,645 houses were damaged (8,480 totally / 28,165 partially) in Bohol. Cebu, Negros Occidental, lloilo and Guimaras.

Update 18 October

The death-toll has risen to 171, of which 159 in Bohol.

About 3000 houses have been totally destroyed, and over 16000 damaged. These numbers will increase, because several heavily hit towns (such as San Isidro) have not yet been accounted for at all.

26 bridges have been rendered unpassable, and several roads are blocked by land-slides.

Most ferry routes and Tagbilaran airport have become operational again. However, please inquire before departure, as many roads in Bohol are still not passable.

Update 17 October

The NDRRMC provides detail site reports on the situation.

Crowdsourced map of damages:

Cebu-Bohol Earthquake Crisis and Needs Map v.2 show in larger map

Update 16 October

The reported death toll has raised to over 150.

Almost 900 aftershocks have been registered, the strongest had a 5.1 magnitude, with more expected in the coming days. A Wikipedia article on the Bohol 2013 earthquake has more details, as has this page on Earthquake Report.

The main tourist destinations on Panglao island have no or only minor damages, and are operating as usual.

Please avoid damaged houses and buildings and stay away from potential landslide locations.


Jeroen Hellingman

What readers think...

Rico Villanueva wrote:
Monday, 16 December 2013 20:25:24 PHT
New Disaster on the island of Bohol Philippines. It all started on October 15 2013. The beautiful island of Bohol in the center of the Philippines was hit by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. 222 people were reported dead, 8 were missing, and 976 were injured. The bell tower of the centuries old Baclayon church collapsed and most of it's debris could be found on the highway. Today, 2 months later, many rocks have been removed but the highway is still closed to all traffic in one direction and to all heavy traffic in both directions. Responsible for this is the NCCA (National Commission on Culture and Art). The commission prohibits anyone from fully opening the important highway because it has plans for church restoration. Nobody knows how long this is going to last but residents and business people are becoming more and more nervous. Traffic is detoured through dirty barangay roads. People start complaining more and more. Here is what they are saying: "Leaving things as they are, makes the situation more dangerous. The church ruin attracts many daily visitors and also local children who start taking more risks by going too near to the half collapsed bell tower. This situation could cost lives in case of an aftershock or strong winds" and: "Leaving the highway partly closed creates a daily economic damage of at least one million pesos. Think about longer travel time for business traffic, more fuel usage, faster wearing out of tires due to traveling over bad roads, inconvenience for local residents (noise, dust, danger for children who are used to live along very quiet roads that are now full of highway traffic), strain on police officers who's daily task it is to manage these new traffic flows. They are now forced to neglect other important tasks such as preventing and combatting criminality. And this is happening while there is a security alert because of a complete prison outbreak in Tacloban City. And then there's the problem of people living along the provincial road who are traumatized by the earthquake. Some of them have difficulties to get rid of their trauma's due to many heavy trucks passing by every day and night, thus creating noise and vibrations similar to the October 15 earthquake. For example the Provincial Road in Baclayon (East CPG) that is now being used as detour for heavy traffic, has changed from a quiet, clean and safe road, particularly for children, into a noisy, dirty and dangerous environment. Government, aren't you supposed to prioritize help to victims over National Treasures? Is the National Commission on Culture and Art willing to sacrify Bohol's economy and safety for the sake of only one damaged church? Are they also willing to sacrify lives? What is more important, safety and the very important local economy or just one old church? Shouldn't everything be done to stop the damage done to local small and large businesses and to increase safety of residents and visitors? This article probably will not change much about the situation. The NCCA mostly gets what it wants and a probably long lasting restoration of the Baclayon church could start at any time. The Government agency's plan is either to use the same church rocks that are now deposited along the highway or similar material. So what will happen when there's a new earthquake in the far future while the church has been brought back to its original state? It might be destroyed again including the risks of ..... how many victims? Did the NCCA think of that? We don't know. Other countries such as Japan would never do this and either immediately demolish the church of rebuild it with new modern and safe construction materials. Didn't we learn that safety comes first?
Pauline Paguia wrote:
Sunday, 20 October 2013 01:27:18 PHT
Bohol, specifically Panglao is my favorite vacation destination. I live in Los Angeles California but my daughter and I have visited Panglao three times, bringing different friends and family with us on each trip. The people are lovely, the resorts are great, and the snorkeling is tops. I have become friends with our snorkel tour guide and have to reach out to him. We were planning to visit again on our next trip next year. I hope conditions get better. Saw the lovely Loboc choir on the news. God bless you, Bohol.
Michael Culley wrote:
Friday, 18 October 2013 05:37:20 PHT
I am so saddened to hear about the recent earthquake on your beautiful island I was here in February to visit my wonderful girl whom lives here, the damage and total desteuction is unimagineable. God bless you all
Tina Wood wrote:
Friday, 18 October 2013 02:26:15 PHT
Our class of 101 sixth graders are keeping up with the aftershock of the quake from a small town in Dahlonega, GA in the United States. We hope Bohol can rebuild quickly. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help. We would love to chat with someone who survived the disaster. We do not have earthquakes of strong intensity here and the opportunity to learn from your town is great. God Bless. Tina Wood/Teacher
Ad S wrote:
Thursday, 17 October 2013 08:11:03 PHT
I was shocked by the news to hear the beautiful places i visited only a month ago are now damaged. i also am sorry for all those people who now have to rebuild their homes and historical places again. i wish you all lots of strength in these difficult times

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