MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine rescue officials say they are losing hope of finding anyone alive among 71 people still buried in landslides set off by a powerful earthquake. So far, 26 bodies have been recovered and identified.
President Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday flew to the disaster area in central Negros Oriental province and gave orders to speed up the reconstruction of roads and bridges that collapsed when the magnitude-6.9 quake struck Monday.
Civil defense chief Benito Ramos said the bridges were not built to sustain such a strong quake, while Aquino criticized the shoddy road construction.
Philippine seismologists say they were previously unaware of the undersea fault line that caused the temblor.