Some flights to and from Visayas were cancelled Tuesday after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake jolted the province of Bohol, central Philippines, and parts of Visayas and Mindanao on the same day.
Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said Mactan International Airport in Lapu-Lapu City in Cebu was cleared for operations following an inspection. Cebu is the country’s second busiest airport and the main gateway to the Visayas area.
Tagbilaran Airport in Bohol, however, sustained some damages when part of the ceiling of the airport terminal collapsed. The airport is operational but with limited capability.
Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines Deputy Director General John Andrews said the facility as of 11am Tuesday can only accommodate only one aircraft on the ground at any given time.
On its twitter account, Cebu Pacific said it has resumed flights to and from Cebu. “Please expect consequential delays on flights today,” part of Cebu Pacific’s tweet said.
Cebu and Cagayan de Oro flights of Philippine Airlines (PAL) and its budget carrier Philippine Airlines Express (PAL Express) have also resumed.
But both said their Tagbilaran flights remain cancelled.
The Tagbilaran seaport in Bohol sustained “heavy damage” and remains the only port still closed in the Visayas following the earthquake, Transport Secretary Abaya said. “All seaports (are) okay in Visayas, except Tagbilaran.
At least 20 people, including 15 in Cebu, died as a result of the earthquake described by Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology director Renato Solidum as equivalent to “32 Hiroshima bombs.”
The quake was recorded from two to five kilometers southeast of Carmen town at 8:12 a.m., the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology and the United States Geological Service reported.
A 17th-century stone church in Loboc town, southwest of Carmen, crumbled to pieces. Other old churches dating from the Spanish colonial period, which are common in the central region, also reported damage, including the bell tower of the centuries-old Santo Nino Church in Cebu, which collapsed.
Photo from ppavis.com