MANILA, Philippines. A diocese in the northern Philippines appealed for aid July 27 after a magnitude 7 earthquake that killed at least four and injured dozens.
The Archdiocese of Tuguegarao in northeastern Luzon said churches and historical sites sustained cracks were damaged, but it also needed help to repair hospital infrastructure and equipment.
Patients were evacuated from a local hospital during the earthquake due to fear the building would collapse.
“We ordered the evacuation because we thought our roof would fall in. Nurses had orders to remove as many patients as they could. But we had difficulty with those who were bedridden with medical equipment. I hope this will not happen again,” said a doctor who wished to remain anonymous.
The archdiocese said its churches were not only places of worship but symbolized the history and tradition of their people.
“They are a testament to our faith and culture. Though damaged by natural calamities like this recent earthquake, we will rebuild them, just as we rebuilt our lives after catastrophes in love and faith in Christ,” the archdiocese added.
It pleaded for God to give parishioners the strength of mind and spirit to overcome the trauma and damage the earthquake had brought.
The earthquake resulted in landslides and power interruptions in more than 10 cities and almost 300 towns in the region. Landslides also were recorded in Baguio City, where major roads were impassable.
Father Ranhilio Aquino, an archdiocesan priest, described the quake as “very strong and prolonged.”
Parishioners in the region who lost their homes also begged for aid.
Fruit vendor Clara Jimenez told ucanews.com an electrical pole fell on her home. “We’re lucky no one was inside because my husband and I are working. We were at the market selling our produce.”
Jimenez said they borrowed money from loan sharks to build their house, so they would be forced to borrow again.
“I am appealing for aid because we paid very high interest when we built that house. Perhaps someone would be generous to lend us an amount and charge us a reasonable interest. We’re OK with that,” Jimenez said.