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Death toll in Philippine quake rises to 39
by Staff Writers
Manila (AFP) Feb 10, 2012

The death toll from a strong quake this week in the central Philippines rose to 39 on Friday, with dozens of missing feared dead, a disaster official said.

Rescuers recovered five bodies in the landslide-hit central island of Negros four days after it was rattled by a 6.7-magnitude quake that flattened homes, destroyed bridges and crumbled mountainsides.

The bodies were recovered from Guihulngan city and the nearby town of La Libertad, some of the worst affected areas engulfed by landslides.

"We're still looking for 66 people," National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council chief Benito Ramos told AFP as he updated the official death toll to 39.

Most of the missing are feared buried in landslides, he said. The death toll is expected to rise as hopes of recovering more people alive are fading even as about 2,000 soldiers intensify search operations.

The disaster council said it is providing food and other assistance to more than 88,000 quake survivors, including most of the 33,000 who have lost their homes and taken shelter at government-run evacuation centres.

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N.Z. quake building was sub-standard: probe
Wellington (AFP) Feb 9, 2012
An office block that collapsed, killing 115 people, including 65 foreign students, in last year's Christchurch earthquake did not meet building standards, an official report found Thursday. The six-storey Canterbury Television (CTV) building crumpled then burst into flames when a 6.3-magnitude quake hit New Zealand's second largest city on February 22 last year, killing those trapped inside ... read more

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