A 7.2M quake hit the Philippines on Tuesday, October 15, 2013 at 8:10 AM local time. The epicenter was near the city of Tagbilaran on the island of Bohol in the central Philippines. The worst damage as on the islands of Bohol and Cebu. There were panicked crowds trying to get out of buildings during the quake. One stampede on Cebu injured 19 people and killed a 4 year old girl. There was extensive damage, with many building damaged or destroyed. Among the damaged buildings were several historic churches, at least one of which, the Church of San Pedro in Loboc dating from 1602, had its roof collapse. 144 people have been confirmed dead and 291 injured. Cracks appeared in roads and power was out in the most affected area. Authorities warned residents not to enter damaged buildings for fear that aftershocks could cause more damage. Port facilities, and airport control tower were also damaged and closed while safety inspections were conducted.
The Philippines is a very active area seismically. Several tectonic plates jostle each other in this area, including the Philippines Plate, Sunda Plate, Pacific Plate and Eurasian Plate. A 6.8M quake hit the nearby island of Negros on 2/6/2012. 7.2M is a strong quake but by no means the strongest possible in this area. In 1948 an 8.1M quake hit not far away. See thePlate Tectonics Page for more on the processes involved. The US Geological Survey (USGS) is an invaluable resource in understanding and tracking earthquakes. See the USGS report on this quake.
See these news stories about this quake: