A strong 7.2 earthquake hit Cebu and Bohol at 8:00 this morning and reports have been coming in of lives lost as well as damage and destruction to commercial buildings and residential houses.
I saw pictures of collapsed or damaged public markets in Pasil and Carbon in Cebu City, Mandaue City; commercial buildings like Ayala Center Cebu, SM City at the North Reclamation Area, Gaisano Country Mall, Budget Builders; important institutions like hospitals and schools such as Cebu Doctors’ University, Cebu Doctors’ Hospital, University of Cebu to name a few.
What’s also devastating are reports of destroyed and damaged heritage structures in the quake epicenter that is Bohol and nearby Cebu. Social media carry pictures and posts of the destroyed belfry in Baclayon and collapsed churches of Loboc, Loon, and Loay.
In Cebu, the belfry of the 1735 structure Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño is no more. The Sto. Niño de Villanueva Church in Pardo, Cebu City also reported damages to the facade.
In the beautiful and historic cabecera de Argao, the strong earthquake with its epicenter in Carmen, Bohol caused the collapse of a portion of the roof of the Casa Real, among the oldest Spanish period town halls still in use today.
Coral stones have fallen off from the belfry of the San Miguel Arcangel Church and in the structure’s interior.
Other reports are coming in of damages to other heritage churches and structures.
I’m hoping restoration works are possible and start on the structures that can still be saved.