THE Department of Tourism (DOT) said some of the most visited tourist sites in the province of Ilocos Sur have been closed to visitors due to the damage they have incurred from the earthquake.
The DOT said the Bantay Bell Tower, Bantay Church/Saint Augustine of Hippo Parish Church, and Archdiocesan Shrine of Nuestra Señora de Caridad de Bantay in Bantay; Sta. Maria Church in Sta. Maria; and St. Paul Cathedral, Heritage Village, Calle Crisologo, Ilocos Sur Regional Complex National Museum, Syquia Mansion, and all other tourist spots in Vigan City were ordered closed by their regional office.
In Pangasinan, only the Antong Falls in Sison was closed to tourists due to landslides.
The Tangadan Falls in San Gabriel and the Great Wall of Santol/Bilagan Road in the province of La Union were also temporarily closed.
In the province of Abra, all tourism activities were suspended until further notice.
In Ilocos Norte, all tourist sites have reopened as of Thursday afternoon, including the Sta. Monica Church in Sarrat, Bacarra Old Convent, Virgen Milagrosa Church/St. John the Baptist Church in Badoc, and Batac Immaculate Conception Church which were earlier closed for the conduct of damage assessment.
The DOT said Baguio City, Kabayan town in Benguet and Mt. Pulag Protected Landscape (MPLL) are still open to visitors.
“Trekkers going to MPPL, however, are advised that Akiki Trail is still undergoing assessment after the earthquake. Additionally, tourists bound for Kabayan are also advised to take caution in traversing the road due to the possibility of aftershocks and rain showers,” it said.
The agency said all tourist sites in Sagada, Mountain Province, except Cave Connection, Sumaguing, Balangagan and Pongas Falls, have also resumed operations for tourists.
“As local engineering offices continue their assessment and inspection of tourist sites, the DOT advises all tourists with travel plans to the affected areas to take extra caution,” the DOT said.
On Wednesday, a magnitude 7 earthquake struck the province of Abra.
Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology Director Renato Solidum said the province of Ilocos Sur incurred significant damage because the foundation of the city is essentially sandy and soft. (SunStar Philippines)