VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP)- The Virginia Beach humanitarian organization Operation Blessing is responding to the devastation in the central Philippines from an earthquake.
The organization's Philippines foundation deployed a first responder team to the region on Wednesday. The team includes a nurse. Thursday, a medical team will begin providing care to victims. Operation Blessing said it's prepared to dispatch additional support from its Manila office.
As of Wednesday, the quake had killed at least 144 people. It also dealt a serious blow to the region's historical and religious legacy by heavily damaging a dozen or more churches, some of them hundreds of years old.
As rescuers reached some of the hardest-hit areas on Wednesday, the death toll from the quake continued to rise.