Search and rescue operations in Bohol towns badly hit by the 7.2-magnitude earthquake continue Thursday bringing the death toll to 158 as of 10 a.m. Thursday, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said.
Injured by the quake also rose to 374 as missing persons in Bohol went down to 21. Most of the casualties are from Bohol province at 146 individuals, 11 in Cebu and one in Siquijor.
According of the Office of Civil Defense the quake has affected 671,967 families in seven cities and 44 towns in Central Philippines.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) recorded at least 1,213 aftershocks from Tuesday's 7.2 earthquake.
Meanwhile, the NDRRMC said 605 houses were destroyed while 1,461 were damaged. It also said 75 percent of power in Bohol had been restored as of 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Several areas in Bohol, the quake’s epicenter, have also remained isolated, with roads and bridges badly damaged, said the NDRRMC.
As of Wednesday, rescuers were still trying to dig deeper into rubbles left by the quake after it shattered office buildings, houses and many centuries old churches. So far, only three people were pulled alive from the rubble, officials said.
The small coastal town of Loon reported 20 fatalities, the highest in Bohol, including those buried in a hospital and a church. Loon and Maribojoc towns are isolated, said officials.
A magnitude 5.5 aftershock from Tuesday's magnitude 7.2 quake hit Bohol province Thursday morning, but state seismologists said no damage was expected.
Phivolcs said the aftershock was recorded at 7:37 a.m., two days after the deadly quake.
Phivolcs' bulletin said the epicenter was traced to 18 km northwest of Tagbilaran City.
It said the quake was felt at:
Intensity VI: Tagbilaran City
Intensity IV: Dumaguete City; Lapu Lapu City; Sibulan, Negros Oriental
Phivolcs earlier said aftershocks may be expected in the next few days, but are expected to become less frequent after that.
Secretaries Manuel Roxas II (Local Government), Dinky Soliman (Social Welfare), Joseph Abaya (Transportation) and Rogelio Singson (Public Works) were already in Bohol to oversee rescue, clearing and relief operations.
The Department of Public Works and Highways, meanwhile, reported damaged roads and bridges in Bohol and Cebu. In Bohol, 20 bridges and four roads remained not passable. A total of 303 houses were also damaged both in Bohol and Cebu.
Nearly half of a 17th-century limestone church in Loboc town, southwest of Carmen, was reduced to rubble.
Extensive damage also hit densely populated Cebu City, causing deaths when a building in Pasil port and the roof of a market area collapsed. The province was also placed under a state of calamity.