MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Transportation chief Joseph Emilio Abaya announced that Cebu and Tagbilaran airports are back in operations as of 10:30 am, hours after an earthquake struck Central Visayas on Tuesday, October 15.
Sec Abaya: Cebu and Tagbilaran airports are fully operational as of 10:30 a.m. #earthquakePH— Official Gazette PH (@govph) October 15, 2013
Budget carrier Cebu Pacific also announced on its official twitter account that it has already resumed flights to and from Cebu, the country’s second busiest airport and the main gateway to the Visayas area.
“Flights to and from Cebu have already resumed. Please expect consequential delays on flights today, “ Cebu Pacific’s tweet said.
Legacy carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) and its affiliate Philippine Airlines Express (PAL Explress) also said their flights to and from Cebu and Cagayan de Oro have resumed.
The local airlines earlier announced that they cancelled their Tagbilaran operations after a magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit the area.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said in its initial report that a shallow 7.2 magnitude struck at 8:12 am. Its epicenter was 2 kilometers southeast of Carmen, Bohol (09.80°N, 124.20°E).
Tagbilaran airport is in the island province of Bohol and the main gateway to key tourist spots, including beaches in nearby Panglao island and century-old churches in the mainland.
The quake was felt across Visayas and Mindanao.
Properties and infrastucture in Bohol, Cebu and neighboring areas were devastated by the quake, which was tectonic in origin.
PAL lifted its cancellation of flights to and from Tagbilaran around 11 am, while Cebu Pacific has given no similar advisory.
“The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines has ascertained the safety of both runway and airport after completing a thorough assessment,” PAL said.
The ceiling at the second floor of the Tagbilaran’s airport terminal collapsed, according to Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) deputy director general John Andrews. “There is clearing [operations at the airport terminal operations are] limited at some point,” he told ANC in an interview.
Runway operations are also limited since “only one aircraft can use it at a time,” he added.
Both airlines told their passengers to standby for updates and call their hotlines for more information on cancelled flights. – Rappler.com
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