As I posted in my blog Yesterday the central region of The Philippines was devastated by 7.2 magnitude earthquake which was centered on the tourist island of Bohol. Cebu city, which is not far from Bohol also suffered significant damage.
Perhaps the collapse of several historic churches in Bohol and Cebu are the most dramatic of the effects of the earthquake, with the iconic Minor Basilica of Santo Niño pilgrimage site in Cebu City as among the structures that received the quake's brunt.
The Basilica Minore del Santo Niño established in the 1500s and rebuilt in its present form in 1737 has withstood from being burnt down several times in history. It houses an image of an infant Jesus believed to date back to the time of Magellan. On Tuesday, the earthquake caused the collapse of its bell tower and portions of its main building
The church was founded by Spanish explorers led by conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi in 1565, making it the oldest Roman Catholic church founded in the Philippines.
It is said to stand on the spot where the image of the Santo Niño de Cebu was found by the Spanish. The statue is the same one given by Ferdinand Magellan to the wife of Rajah Humabon in 1521. To this day, the Basilica houses the famous statue.
The present building was built from 1739 to 1740. It was declared a National Historical Landmark in 1941.
A video uploaded by YouTube user Alfredo Markuz Oliverio on Wednesday shows the shattering of the basilica's bell tower and the panic that gripped passers by upon seeing the oldest surviving church established in 1565, on its knees
At the time that I am writing this blog post the death toll from the magnitude-7.2 earthquake has ballooned to 144 as search and rescue teams recovered more bodies in Bohol province on Wednesday.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) also reported in a briefing that a total of 23 people remained missing in Bohol and 291 more people have been injured.. Pleas join with me in praying for all those poor people that have had their lives shattered by this tragedy.