Thunderstorms to Impact Aid and Rescue Following Philippine Earthquake

By Eric Leister, Meteorologist
October 17, 2013; 4:58 AM ET
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The number of dead and injured continues to rise as reports arrive from communities across the central and southern Philippines.

On Tuesday, the USGS reported that an earthquake registered a magnitude 7.1 on the Richter Scale and was centered near the city of Catigbian on Bohol Island, home to over 1 million people. The Philippines government reported the quake with a magnitude of 7.2.

The depth of the quake was about 20 km or between 12 and 13 miles deep. Shaking was felt across the the region, with the most violent shaking occurring on Bohol and Cebo islands.

@1Barbara1 retweeted: "Scores dead in Philippine buildings and churches damaged on Bohol Island and nearby Cebu province by 7.2 magnitude earthquake"

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The death toll has climbed to 144 following the powerful earthquake, according to the Associated Press. That number may continue to rise as rescuers continue to reach people trapped beneath the ruble of collapsed buildings.

Scattered showers and thunderstorms impacted some rescue efforts on Tuesday and Wednesday and the threat for showers and thunderstorms will continue across the region for the next several days. Although no widespread heavy rainfall is expected, localized downpours can lead to episodes of flash flooding.

One of the buildings hardest hit by the earthquake is a hospital where rescue efforts are ongoing. Also many of the region's most popular and historic churches suffered major damage from the earthquake.

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The bell tower toppled from Cebu city's 16th-century Basilica of the Holy Child, the oldest church in the country. A picture of the damage to the church can be seen below.

The bell of Basilica of the Holy Child lies amidst the rubble following an earthquake that hit Cebu city in central Philippines and toppled the bell tower of the Philippines' oldest church on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

The latest report from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council of the Philippines indicated that in addition to the fatalities, more than 275 others have been injured. The majority of the deaths and injuries occurred on Bohol Island.

Many homes and buildings have been damaged or even collapsed completely across the region, including a church where several people have been confirmed dead, according to Reuters.

Some areas across Bohol and Cebo islands are still without power. Transportation has also been impacted as roads became impassible due to cracking and landslides. Also at least four bridges have collapsed in the region.

Soldiers remove the debris that fell over cars following an earthquake that hit Cebu city in central Philippines on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

Flights into the islands were cancelled following the powerful earthquake as well as ferry service between the islands.

The earthquake occurred just days after Typhoon Nari killed at least 13 people across the Philippines.


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