Churches safe; no damage caused by quake
CEBU’S heritage churches, which were damaged in the 2013 earthquake, stood unscathed after Thursday’s tremor.
Fr. Ric Anthony Reyes, OSA, and spokesperson of the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño, said the centuries-old church did not sustain any cracks.
“As part of the standard operating procedure, we closed the church (immediately after the earthquake) to have an ocular inspection and determine whether or not there are significant damage. But we did not find any so we opened the Church on Friday,” he told CDN.
The basilica’s bell tower collapsed during the 7.2-magnitude earthquake in 2013.
It took about two years to restore the bell tower.
“The basilica is safe for churchgoers,” Reyes said.
He said they are praying that victims of Thursday’s earthquake can recover.
“We pray for the safety of each person and for the victims of yesterday’s (Thursday) earthquake,” Reyes said.
The basilica is the home of the wooden image of the Sto. Niño, which was given as a baptismal gift by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan to Cebu’s Queen Juana in 1521.
The image of the Child Jesus, which is venerated inside the church, is the country’s oldest icon.
Nine other heritage churches in Cebu, which were affected by the 2013 earthquake, also did not suffer any damage, said Fr. Brian Brigoli , head of the Cebu Archdiocesan Commission on Cultural Heritage.
“The restoration works in these church are finished and we are happy that they were not destroyed by last Thursday’s earthquake,” he said.
The churches include the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, the ecclesiastical seat of the Cebu Archdiocese, in the downtown area; the St. Catherine de Alexandria Parish in Carcar City; the San Guillermo de Aquitania Parish in Dalaguete town; the Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Parish Church in the city’s Barangay Pardo; the St. Francis de Assisi Parish Church in Dumanjug town; the Nuestra Señora del Pilar Parish Church in Sibonga town; the Archdiocesan Shrine of St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Argao town; the Nuestra Señora de Patrocinio Parish Church in Boljoon town; and the St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Samboan town.
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