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On Monday morning, a 6.7-magnitude earthquake (U.S. Geological Survey) struck central Philippines in a narrow strait just off Negros Island. The epicenter was closest to Tayasan, a coastal town of about 32,000 people flanked by mountains in Negros Oriental province. The quake could be felt in at least seven central provinces, including Negros Occidental, Iloilo, Cebu and Bacolod, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology. Wall Street Journal reports that local government officials and rescue agencies say at least 15 people were killed.
“Many roads have been cut off so our trucks are unable to go in. There is no water. There is no electricity,” said Army Col. Francisco Zosimo Patrimonio.
Guihulngan City Mayor Ernesto Reyes said search operations were also being hampered by strong aftershocks. More than 900 aftershocks have been recorded since Monday, the strongest at magnitude 6.2.
Thousands of residents in affected areas have been sleeping outside for fear that their houses would collapse in the aftershocks, while some hospitals also moved patients outdoors overnight. USA Today reports that the Philippine officials’ hope is fading of finding survivors among the 71 people still believed to be buried in landslides set off by the earthquake.
As we gather more information about our staff and clients at Opportunity Philippines, please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.