The United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported that 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck the Philippines with an epicenter on Bohol Island near the city of Catigbian at 8:12 am Tuesday local time (Monday 5:12 pm EDT).
According to MSN News the death toll has risen to 93. In addition, hundreds of people have been injured.
At 12.4 miles, the shallow depth of the quake “indicates it ruptured a fault within the crust of the Sunda plate, rather than on the deeper subduction zone plate boundary interface,” the USGS noted.
The epicenter of the earthquake was 1 mile northeast of the small city of Catigbian and 385 miles south-southeast of Manila, the Philippine capital.
The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) did not issue a Tsunami warning, stating in its tsunami Information statement, “Based on all available data a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami is not expected and there is no tsunami threat to Hawaii.”
CNN reported that there were landslides and many collapsed buildings, possibly containing still missing persons. The islands of Cebu and Bohol were affected the most and contained most of the casualties, many of whom were killed or injured due to collapsing buildings and falling debris. The quake also disrupted power and communications.
For comparison, the 2012 earthquake in Haiti which killed hundreds of thousands of people and left many more homeless was 7.0 magnitude.
The USGS report remarked of the geography of the Philippines, “The Philippine Islands straddle a region of complex tectonics at the intersection of three major tectonic plates (the Philippine Sea, Sunda and Eurasia plates). As such, the islands are familiar with large and damaging earthquakes and the region within 500 km of the October 15 earthquake has hosted 19 events of [magnitude] 6 or greater, a dozen of which have been shallow (0-70 km)."