Dozens of people are dead and more are missing in a 6.7-magnitude earthquake that rocked the Philippines at around 11:49 a.m. local time on Monday morning. The country is one of several that are located in the Pacific "Ring of Fire" -- the area in which earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic activity are common.
There have been no reports of any Israelis missing as a result of the disaster thus far, according to Foreign Minister spokesman Yigal Palmor. "The Philippines is not a preferred destination for Israeli backpackers," Palmor told Arutz Sheva, "and most Israeli business people are usually in Manila."
The Philippine Army said that at least 43 bodies were found in the central part of the country. Many bridges were left impassable by the quake, making search and rescue efforts difficult.
The epicenter of the temblor struck at a depth of 29 miles, and 353 miles south-southeast of Manila, the capital, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). It came close to the coastal town of Tayasan, home to some 32,000 people in the Negros Oriental province. One child died when a concrete wall outside a home collapsed.
The quake rocked a narrow strait just off Negros Island, buried as many as 30 houses in a mudslide in the city of Guihulngan in the province. At least 29 people were reported missing in the city, home to some 180,000.
A second landslide struck the mountain village of Solongon in La Libertad town, also in the same province, trapping an uknown number of residents, according to local police.
The worst typhoon in decades, named "Washi," struck the southern Pacific nation this past December, killing more than 1,200 and destroying more than 10,000 homes.