British embassy extends sympathy to Visayas quake victims-A A +A
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
(UPDATED) Bristish Ambassador-designate to the Philippines Asif Ahmad expressed sympathies to the Philippine government after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit the Visayas region, particularly the tourist-heavy province of Bohol.
The ambassador, in a statement, said there was no British national reportedly affected by the earthquake that already claimed the lives of 20 people--15 in Cebu, four in Bohol and one in nearby province of Siquijor.
"Reports of the earthquake in Bohol and Cebu reached me as it happened this morning. I am saddened to hear of the loss of lives in the region and it will be some time before the full extent of the damage becomes known," Ahmad said.
"Whilst there have been no reports of injury to Britons, this is a region that has proven to be hospitable to many British nationals over the years," he added.
The strong earthquake hit central Philippines on Tuesday morning, which also damaged some of the oldest buildings and facades in Cebu and Bohol.
The earthquake struck the island of Bohol at about 8:12 a.m., the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said.
Officials said that although the quake was centered in Bohol, Cebu experienced more deaths because it has a bigger population.
Out of the 15 deaths in Cebu, four came from the collapse of the roof of the fish market. The quake heavily damaged some of the oldest churches in the city, including the iconic Basilica Minore del Santo Nino de Cebu, which was founded in 1565.
Aside from churches, a mall and a hospital were also damaged during the quake.
Officials have warned the residents of the two cities to stay out of buildings because of the possible aftershocks, as well as landslides that may occur at any moment.
Ahmad expressed hopes that the country, particularly the two provinces, will be able to overcome the disaster.
"Everyone familiar will the affected parts of the country will join me in the hope that the community recovers from what has been a difficult day," he said.
Vice President Jejomar Binay, meanwhile, appealed to religious groups to hold prayer vigils for those who were hit by the tremor and recent storms.
"Let us pray for their safety and for strength to overcome this difficult time. Let us also pray for our country, that we be spared from further calamities," he said.
Binay said his office will provide relief assistance to victims as he encouraged the public to do the same.
“In times like these, we need to look beyond ourselves and see how we can alleviate the pains of others,” he added. (CVB/Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)