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Children Among 43 Dead As Quake Hits Philippines


A magnitude 6.7 earthquake off the central Philippine island of Negros has killed at least 43 people, including children, with government offices and schools ordered to close after at least 40 aftershocks.

A sixth-grade pupil died after being plucked out from a collapsed chapel wall while a 9-year-old girl was killed when the concrete wall of a school collapsed, officials said.

A tsunami alert was lifted. Some roads, bridges, and houses sustained cracks, but major roads remained passable.

"While the threat of immediate danger appears to have passed, we urge the people in affected areas to remain watchful and calm, and to cooperate with the authorities," a presidential spokesman said.

Television footage showed people scurrying out of buildings, residents converging in open spaces, and frightened schoolchildren in tears.