Rescuers carry an injured man after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Bohol Province, the Philippines, Oct. 17, 2013.
The death toll from a 7.2-magnitude earthquake which jolted the central Philippines has risen to 172 as the number of casualties is feared to climb.
The civil defense office for the Island of Bohol, the epicenter of the powerful quake in the Asian country, said that the region suffered the most with 160 people killed. Twelve others were killed on other central islands.
The Bohol police also said that 22 people, including five children, were missing on the island as a result of the Tuesday quake, adding that it was highly unlikely that many of them would still be alive.
"It looks doubtful. This is the fourth day since the quake. It is an extreme possibility they will be recovered alive," Bohol police commander Dennis Agustin said.
The authorities have warned that the death toll would probably climb even higher.
The October 15 powerful temblor, followed by a number of aftershocks, has caused huge landslides, shattered roads and collapsed structures in Bohol.
Government and aid groups have been rushing to deliver relief aid to quake-stricken areas, but their efforts have been hampered due to impassable roads.
Bohol is an island about 600 kilometers from the Philippine capital Manila.
The Philippines sits on the Ring of Fire, an area where a large number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur in the basin of the Pacific Ocean.