MANILA (UPDATE) – Over 800 aftershocks have been recorded since a major earthquake struck Visayas on Tuesday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said.
Phivolcs said as of 8 a.m. Wednesday, 823 aftershocks have been recorded.
Phivolcs said aftershocks may persist in the coming days or even weeks. The agency said these aftershocks will gradually become weaker and less frequent.
National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) spokesperson Reynaldo Balido Jr. said 97 people died in Bohol, where the epicenter of the magnitude 7.2 quake was recorded at 8:12 a.m. yesterday.
Nine others died in Cebu, the country’s second most important city and a gateway to some of its most beautiful beaches, the national disaster agency reported.
One fatality was reported in nearby Siquijor, which attracts tourists with its pristine white sands.
At least 276 people were injured in the tremors, 166 of whom were from Bohol, 106 from Cebu, 3 in Siquijor and 1 in Negros Oriental.
The NDRRMC said 558,390 families or 2,841,956 individuals were affected by the quake in 879 villages, 27 municipalities, 7 cities in Central Visayas.
At least 13 evacuation centers are currently housing some 2,500 families or 12,500 individuals whose homes remain vulnerable to collapse.
President Benigno Aquino III is set to visit the the provinces of Bohol and Cebu today. – reports from Johnson Manabat, dzMM; and Jerome Lantin, ABS-CBN News