At least four people were killed when a 7.1 magnitude earthquake destroyed buildings in and around one of the Philippines' major tourist hubs on Tuesday, authorities said. The quake struck at 08:12 local time (0012 GMT) five kilometres (three miles) east of Balilihan, in the Bohol region of the archipelago, at a depth of 20 kilometres (12 miles), the agency said. The town lies across a strait of about 60 kilometres from Cebu. Cebu and surrounding areas impacted by the quake were among the Philippines' most popular tourist destinations. Bohol is famous for its "Chocolate Hills" and beautiful beaches. Photos on social media showed extensive damage to old churches and modern buildings, including a university, while major roads had also been torn apart. Patients streamed out of one of Cebu's major hospitals, which was damaged. Local media reported one floor of the building caught fire. The quake was followed by at least four aftershocks that measuring more than 5.0 in … [Read more...] about 7.1 magnitude quake strikes Philippines: USGS
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Hidden beneath tarpaulins in the backyard of a house in the central Philippine city of Danao, Lito puts the finishing touches on a replica .45-caliber Colt Officer's Model pistol. It will join the more than 600,000 illegal guns in circulation in a country where the homicide rate outstrips the U.S. The money he makes from guns supplements his income as a farmer and helped Lito, 52, send two children to college. Still, he thinks often of the suffering that may come from a craft he learned from an uncle and older brother. "I worry that the firearms I make may be ending up in the wrong hands," said Lito, a soft-spoken man dressed in loose jeans and slippers, who asked not to be identified in full given the nature of his work. "If there were other opportunities, I will stop making guns." Lito, who will sell the pistol that took him a month to make for 6,000 pesos ($133) -- about three-quarters of the monthly minimum wage -- is one of 6,000 illegal gunmakers the Danao government is … [Read more...] about Farmers copying guns make Philippines deadlier than U.S.
In the Philippines, they vote with their trigger fingers. Elections mean big business for illegal gunsmiths, who are looking forward to 2013 mid-term polls. With election-related violence commonplace, the Philippines imposes a ban on the carrying of guns for six months, from campaigning to the proclamation of winners. With legal access denied, Filipinos simply turn to the many illegal gunsmiths who ply their trade in back alleys and on the edge of rice fields despite government crackdowns. In Danao City, in the northeast of central Cebu island, they are already anticipating a windfall. "There's actually huge demand for guns, especially now and because of the elections next year," said a 33-year-old gunsmith, who asked to be named only as Remo, as he hammered away at bits of scrap metal in a makeshift factory in Danao. Loud music drowned out the noise of Remo's workshop on the edge of a dry creek, hidden from view by thick bamboo groves, as he and two assistants hammered, filed and … [Read more...] about Philippine gun makers take aim from the backyard to the production line
That so few men made it to this refuge shows how dimly aware they were of the threat posed by Typhoon Haiyan, which crashed into the central Philippines on Friday with some of the strongest winds ever recorded. Many men stayed at their homes to guard against looters. Poorly enforced evacuations compounded the problem. And the bodies illustrate another, more troubling truth: the evacuation center itself became a death trap, as many of those huddling in the basement perished in a tsunami-like swirl of water. Those with the foresight to evacuate flimsy homes along the coast gathered in concrete structures not strong enough to withstand the six-meter (20-ft) storm surges that swept through Tacloban, capital of the worst-hit Leyte province. The aid, when it came, was slow. Foreign aid agencies said relief resources were stretched thin after a big earthquake in central Bohol province last month and displacement caused by fighting with rebels in the country's south, complicating … [Read more...] about Monster typhoon exposes an ill-prepared Philippines Dead bodies clog the basement of the Tacloban City Convention Centre. The dazed evacuees in its sports hall are mostly women and children. The men are missing.
A powerful earthquake killed at least 85 people in the Philippines Tuesday as it tore down buildings and triggered stampedes across popular tourist islands. People look at a collapsed building in Cebu City, Philippines after a 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck the region on October 15, 2013 (Source: AFP) A powerful earthquake killed at least 85 people in the Philippines Tuesday as it tore down modern buildings, destroyed historic churches and triggered terrified stampedes across popular tourist islands. Fifteen of the confirmed fatalities were in Cebu, the country's second most important city and a gateway to some of its most beautiful beaches, the national disaster agency reported. The 7.1-magnitude quake killed another 69 people in the neighbouring island of Bohol, famed for its rolling "Chocolate Hills", while one other person died on nearby Siquijor, which attracts tourists with its pristine white sands. "I was thrown to the ground by the strength of the quake. Broken … [Read more...] about 85 dead as quake hits Philippine tourist islands