Philippine Quake The Search Is On

Rescue workers in the Philippines are searching for survivors after yesterday’s earthquake which killed dozens of people.

The Philippines military has put the current death toll at 43 but rescuers are still searching for missing people in rubble from buildings and landslides triggered by the earthquake.

The 6.7-magnitude quake struck just before noon in the narrow strait between the heavily populated islands of Negros and Cebu in the country’s central region.

Soil and rocks buried homes in a neighbourhood in Guihulngan City near the quake’s epicentre, which had also seen heavy rain in the days before the quake, disaster officials say.

Authorities are having difficulty getting heavy machinery into the affected areas to help clear debris because of damage to roads and bridges.

Some remote, steep areas where many are believed to be injured or missing are inaccessible.

“It looks like there is no more hope of finding the 29 missing alive,” said Benito Ramos, head of the state disaster agency.

The agency says it is checking reports that 40 people are missing in another landslide in La Libertad town, in Negros Oriental province.

More than 700 aftershocks have hit since the initial quake and officials are warning residents to have their houses checked if they have been damaged.

“They should not panic and make sure they secure all items that may fall. Structures with minor damage should be first inspected if safe to use,” government seismologist Winchell Sevilla said.

A witness saw huge cracks on main roads and concrete structures in Ayungon town adjacent to Tayasan, where mausoleums in cemeteries had also caved in.