7.2 magnitude Visayas quake destroys several churches in Bohol and Cebu, including Loboc Church and Sto. Niño Cathedral

Most of them were tagged as "heritage" structures.

Jerome Aning and Jocelyn Uy of the Philippine Daily Inquirer report that the centuries-old Loboc Church in Bohol and the Sto. Niño Cathedral in Cebu were among the heritage churches badly destroyed by the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that rocked Central Visayas on Tuesday, October 15.


The report noted that according to the Manila-based Heritage Conservation Society (HCS), the earthquake caused total destruction or significant damage to the churches in Baclayon, Dauis, Dimiao, Loay, Loboc, Loon and Maribojoc in Bohol, all national cultural treasures or national historical landmarks; and the Sto. Niño Basilica and Cebu Cathedral in Cebu, among others. Photos taken of the 17th-century Church of San Pedro in Loboc and posted on the Internet following the quake showed that only its bell tower remained standing.


HCS president Ivan Henares called on the Philippine government to allocate funds for the restoration of the historical churches, saying they were priceless Philippine cultural treasures. The National Commission for Culture and the Arts said in a statement that it is committed to rescue and later, rehabilitate, damaged heritage structures... in collaboration with the Catholic Church, local government officials and communities.

For more on this story, log on to Inquirer.net.

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