Guagua church lockdown lifted, assessment of churches continues

GUAGUA, Pampanga -- The lockdown of the heritage church of the Immaculate Conception (ImmaCon) parish was lifted on Wednesday, April 24, when it was declared safe following an assessment of the church’s structural integrity.

“Regular schedule and services will now resume also,” the parish said in an announcement.

Meanwhile, most services in old churches in Pampanga have been moved to other locations after the Archdiocesan Committee on Church Heritage (ACCH) in Pampanga recommended the lockdown of all heritage churches.

Most still remain on lockdown.

The ACCH is leading the assessment of the structural integrity of heritage churches in the province in coordination with local government units and conservation agencies and volunteers.

In Santa Rita town, regular masses were moved to the San Jose chapel as the Santa Rita de Cascia Parish Church is still undergoing assessment. Church officials in Pampanga are asking the faithful to coordinate with their local parishes on the re-location of venues for regular masses.

Among the heritage churches, Saint Catherine of Alexandria Parish sustained severe damage to its belfry. Only the first floor of the four-story belfry remains, while part of the rubble fell on the nave of the church, causing further damage.

Damage was also reported in the heritage churches of Angeles City, Lubao, Minalin and Santa Rita.

At the historic Saint Augustine Parish Church in Lubao town, the brick spire collapsed during the earthquake. The church was declared an Important Cultural Property by the National Museum in 2013.

The nearby Santa Rita de Cascia Church in Santa Rita town also sustained damage to its belfry when large cracks at its top dome showed after the quake. Authorities are still assessing the extent of the damage.

Apung Mamacululu Shrine in Angeles City also sustained minor damage when portions of the concrete covering the nave fell.

Two heritage chapels in Porac town, the Hacienda Dolores chapel and Pio Chapel in Barangays Hacienda Dolores and Pio, also sustained damage.

The Metropolitan Cathedral of San Fernando also sustained damage to its main flooring while the heritage church of Minalin, another Important Cultural Property, was also reported to have sustained cracks on its façade.


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