Strong Abra quake damages Vigan Cathedral, Bantay Bell Tower in Ilocos Sur

A 7.3-magnitude earthquake roused people from sleep in different parts of Luzon and damaged various infrastructures on Wednesday morning, July 27.

The Vigan Cathedral in Ilocos Sur is damaged by the magnitude 7.3 earthquake that hit Abra on July 27, 2022. (Screenshot from Facebook video of Ceasar Bueno Lumibao Jr.)

According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), the epicenter of the rumbling was recorded two kilometers north of Lagangilang, Abra at 8:43 a.m.

It has a shallow depth of 25 km. which explained why it was strongly felt in Metro Manila.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) coordinated with its local counterparts to assess the extent of the damage of the quake.

NDRRMC Chairperson and Department of National Defense (DND) Officer-in-Charge Jose Faustino Jr. went to the NDRRMC Operations Center in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City to personally monitor the situation.

“As of this time, the local DRRM officers are on the scene to assess the impact of the earthquake,” said NDRRMC spokesperson Mark Timbal.

However, photos and videos posted on social media revealed the initial scale of the earthquake’s damage.

In a Facebook Live video posted by Ceasar Bueno Lumibao Jr., parts of the Vigan Cathedral in Vigan, Ilocos Sur were seen crumbling as the ground shook and tourists scampered to different directions to seek shelter.

In an interview with the Manila Bulletin, Lumibao said that he was at a fast food restaurant in Vigan and was parking his motorcycle when the earthquake occurred.

“Pag-atras ko po ng motor ko, akala ko po nahihilo lang ako pero nafeel ko na po ‘yung lupa gumagalaw na (When I moved back my motorcycle, I thought I was only dizzy but I felt that the ground was already shaking),” Lumibao said.

“’Yung mga tourists po nagsiupo na at mga tricycle drivers, hawak ang mga tricycles nila kasi halos matumba na talaga sila (The tourists sat on the ground and the tricycle drivers held on to their tricycles because they almost fell down),” he added.

Bantay Bell Tower in Vigan, Ilocos Sur. (Screenshot from Edison Aducul Facebook video)

In a separate Facebook live, netizen Edison Aducul showed how the quake destroyed the Bantay Bell Tower in Vigan, Ilocos Sur.

“Buti hindi pa tayo umakyat doon! (What a relief we didn’t go up there yet!)” a man was heard saying in the video.

La Paz, Abra Mayor Menchie Bernos urged residents in the area to stay vigilant and prepare for aftershocks that may hit the province.

“My office is also actively coordinating with proper authorities on what can be done to assist families and communities that were severely affected by this earthquake,” she said.