An earthquake measuring 7.2 magnitude has hit the central Philippines, killing at least 20 people, reports say.

The US Geological Survey said the quake struck underneath the island of Bohol, in a region popular with tourists.


People were killed as buildings and markets collapsed in Bohol island and nearby Cebu. Several buildings and churches were damaged by the quake.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said a destructive wave was not expected.

Four of those who died were killed when a fish market collapsed, officials said.

Two others died and 19 were injured when the roof of a market in Cebu province collapsed, AP news agency said, citing TV reports.

“I was fast asleep when suddenly I woke up because my bed was shaking. I was so shocked, I could do nothing but hide under the bed,” eyewitness Janet Maribao told AFP news agency.

Neil Sanchez, head of the Cebu disaster management office, told broadcaster ABS-CBN that they were trying to confirm reports that a school had collapsed.

“Communication lines are quite difficult here,” he said. “Even the disaster risk reduction management office has been damaged. We had to move elsewhere.”

Edgardo Chatto, the governor of Bohol, said that a church and a city hall building were damaged.


At least two buildings and a church in Cebu province had also been damaged by the quake, local media reports said.

Straddling the so-called Ring of Fire belt of seismic activity, the Philippines often experiences earthquakes.

In August 2012 a 7.6-magnitude earthquake struck off the eastern Philippine island of Samar, causing tsunami evacuations and power cuts.

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