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PHOTOS: Hundreds Dead, Historic Churches Destroyed in Philippine Quake

@tokyodrastic: Loboc Church in Bohol collapsed front and center... Landslides around. People must be hurt. But seeing no casualties pic.twitter.com/oaoeU3bsI0

Loboc Church in Bohol collapsed front and center. Image by @tokyodrastic

A magnitude 7.2 earthquake killed more than 150 people in the central Philippine islands of Bohol and Cebu Tuesday October 15, 2013.

The strong earthquake started in Bohol, where the epicenter was recorded at 8:12 in the morning and caused the destruction of roads, homes, buildings, and historic churches in the island.

The neighboring island of Cebu, which is the second largest urban center in the country outside of the national capital Manila, also bore the brunt of the quake with shopping malls, public markets, schools, and other buildings bearing damage.

Other provinces in the central Philippine area also felt the tremors but sustained no significant harm to people or physical structures.

Striking early in the morning during a holiday, the earthquake caught many by surprise. Hundreds of aftershocks of varying intensity also followed the main quake.

Social media users recorded their earthquake experiences through various networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram:

Social media users also took photos of the damage caused by the powerful earthquake and posted them online:

@KaiizenM More photos of damaged buildings.I do not own anything. #Cebu http://twitpic.com/dhe9nh

Sto Nino de Cebu church. Image uploaded by @KaiizenM

@BlueGrayKimpots: Ohlala... Cebu Doctors University after the very trong earthquake. :( #earthquake pic.twitter.com/bPslkaaL8W

Cebu Doctors University. Image uploaded by @BlueGrayKimpots

@randelltiongson: Damaged by the earthqauke here in Ayala Center Cebu pic.twitter.com/TSJhUNl8f1

Ayala Shopping Center Cebu. Image from @randelltiongson

Some of the most badly damaged structures by the earthquake are the historic limestone churches in Bohol. Built through polo or Filipino slave labor during the Spanish colonial era in the 1700s and 1800s, these churches have become some of the country's most prized cultural heritage.

@rod_bolivar: Saint Vincent Parish Church in Maribojoc, Bohol crumbled to the ground after the earthquake. pic.twitter.com/MhTC584Wid

Saint Vincent Parish Church in Maribojoc, Bohol crumbled to the ground after the earthquake. Image by @rod_bolivar

@Huntress96: the worst church damage in Bohol. The church is now pulverized :"( pic.twitter.com/fcsv2ibPK3

“The worst church damage in Bohol. The church is now pulverized.” Image by @Huntress96

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