MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Three major bridges, several century-old churches and major roads were damaged in Central Visayas on Tuesday, October 15, after a magnutude 7.2 earthquake hit the region.
Among those damaged was the famous Loboc church in the town of Loboc, Bohol while portions of Sto Nino Basilica in Cebu is also said to have cracks. READ: Strong quake rocks Visayas
Transportation facilities have also been damaged. The ceiling of the airport terminal in Tagbilaran, Bohol collapsed limiting operations. A crack along the Mactan-Cebu was also reported but it has been cleared to allow operations. Airports in Kalibo, Caticlan and Iloilo are back to normal.
Twenty people in Cebu died from the earthquake, according to the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Region VII. Four of them died in a fish market in Cebu City, the OCD said. Another was killed in Mandaue City, also in a public market, Cebu Representative Luigi Quisimbing told Rappler.
A building under construction collapsed in Mandaue City, he added.
Other major damages include the caving in of a portion of the Gaisano Country Mall in Banilad, Cebu after the first wave of the quake which reportedly lasted 20 minutes.
Part of Cebu Doctors Hospital’s second floor also reportedly collapsed, while sections of its 5th floor was on fire forcing patients to evacuate. Cebu Technical Institute also reported damages but the extent of damage is still undetermined.
OCD Cebu Engineer Neil Balaba said they are currently assessing damage and conducting needs analysis in both Cebu and Bohol to ensure buildings are safe for entry and roads and bridges are safe for passing.
Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama also announced all classes in public and private schools are suspended until tomorrow to give authorities time to inspect damages in classrooms. The Department of Education has also declared suspension of classes in Bohol.
Cebu Gov Hilario “Junjun” Davide III said on radio DZMM, “There was a landslide in Boljoon, Cebu so the road is impassable now.”
Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto said on DZMM TeleRadyo that more are being rushed to the hospital and that local government units are already preparing for aftershocks.
According to the Philippine Information Agency in Cebu, aftershocks continue to be felt.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) reassured the public that no tsunami is expected to hit due to the earthquake, but Lt Cmndr Armand Balilo, spokesperson of the Philippine Coast Guard, said they have suspended docking of big boats in Cebu and Bohol for now, following damages in their Tagbilaran station.
“Thank God today is a holiday,” Quisimbing told Rappler. Loss of life and property damage would have been much more if classes and offices were not closed to observe Id-ul-Adha or the Feast of Sacrifice.
Flights to and from Tagbilaran and Cebu have also been suspended. – With reports from Natashya Gutierrez/Rappler.com