Seven dead, severe damage in Visayas' quake-hit areas

(UPDATE 3) At least seven people were killed in the 6.9-magnitude quake that struck parts of the Visayas, authorities said.

Bernadette Raidan, 8, and Anafe Estrabella, 11, were among the seven fatalities of the quake in Negros Oriental. Both were pinned down by a collapsed concrete, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said in its update.

NDRRMC said northern parts of the Negros Oriental registered severe damages in structures. A barangay hall also collapsed and cracks were also found in government and commercial buildings, roads and bridges in Guihulngan City.

There were some"surface cracks" as well in RSB Building, Abellana National School, and in St. Vincent Gen. Hospital in Cebu City, NDRRMC said.

President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino already ordered the NDRRMC to "assess and collate the extent of damage and casualties, and to provide the necessary interventions."

Earlier, a tsunami alert has been issued but eventually lifted but vigilance should remain.

Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum said the tsunami alert level 2 had been canceled as of 2:30 pm.

"The alert was for the eastern side of Negros and western coast of Cebu. But we will continue to monitor," said Solidum in a phone interview with Yahoo! Southeast Asia.

Panic and worry gripped several PH areas while netizens called for calm and prayers as Phivolcs issued the bulletin warning to alert the public for unusual waves.

Phivolcs reported a strong local earthquake with a depth of 10 km occurred offshore Negros Oriental at 11:49 a.m.

“People are advised to stay away from the shoreline. People should not go to the coast to watch the tsunami. People whose houses are very near coastal areas of Negros and Cebu islands are strongly advised to be watchful,” Phivolcs earlier warned.

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said Coast Guard Chief Edmund Tan has been instructed to prevent fishermen from going out to sea for the duration of the alert, while Department of Social Welfare and Development personnel are already on standby to lend support and relief to affected citizens.

“While there are no forced evacuations being ordered, we implore the people in affected areas to remain vigilant and take the necessary safety precautions. Let us cooperate with government agencies, allow them to do their work, and remain calm and watchful,” he said.

Other related story:

One dead in strong Philippine quake

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