Antique churches destroyed inTuesday’s quake
In Bohol, the Loboc Church built by the Spanish in the 17th century crashed. Churches of Baclayon, Dauis, Loon, Loay and Maribojoc suffered significant damages.
The 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit Central Philippines on Tuesday morning destroyed some of the magnificent old churches which were declared national treasures. At least 92 deaths were reported from Cebu, Bohol and Siquijor provinces.
Bishop Leonardo Medroso of Tagbilaran said in an interview to CBCP that the tremor was strong enough to cause serious damage to several old churches dated back to Spanish colonial times. So far there is only a partial estimate of places of worship destroyed.
In Bohol, the Loboc Church built by the Spanish in the 17th century crashed. Churches of Baclayon, Dauis, Loon, Loay and Maribojoc suffered significant damages. The bell tower at the Minor Basilica Del Santo Niño in Cebu City was destroyed.
One of the most popular tourist destinations, the city of Cebu reported the largest number of deaths. Among the dead were two praying inside a church in Loon in Bohol that collapsed.
Reports from the province of Cebu said that people were trapped inside the collapsed buildings and shopping centres. It was fortunate that this happened on a national holiday; many lives were saved as schools that collapsed were empty and many businesses were closed.
The earthquake disrupted communications and electricity supply in the area. The local Civil Protection Office suffered severe damage and seems unable to coordinate relief operations.
The Philippines is located along the so-called ‘Pacific ring of fire’ characterized by intense volcanic and seismic activity. In 1990, an earthquake measuring 7.7 killed more than 2,000 people in Luzon. In March 2010, an earthquake of magnitude 6.2 struck off the island of Luband in Mindanao; tremors were felt in Manila, the capital, more than 130 km from the epicentre. In August 2012, a magnitude 7.6 earthquake propagated off the east coast of the island of Samar, with a tsunami warning and the evacuation of the general area.