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Bishop urges prayers for Batanes after deadly quakes

The Sta. Maria de Mayan Church in Itbayat was one of the severely damaged structures by the series of quakes that hit Batanes province early Saturday morning. PHOTO COURTESY OF DOMINIC DE SAGON ASA

MANILA, July 27, 2019–A Catholic bishop has asked everyone to join him in prayer for the suffering victims of the twin earthquakes that struck the islands in the northern Philippines on Saturday.

Bishop Danilo Ulep of Batanes sent his prayers and condolences to the people of the prelature, after eight people were killed and hundreds evacuated in the aftermath of the tremor.

All casualties were due to damaged houses in Itbayat island, dozens others were injured, properties were damaged, including the historic Itbayat Church.

The prelate, who is based in the island of Basco, said they are closely monitoring the situation in Itbayat, the farthest and the biggest among the three inhabited islands of Batanes.

“We are trying to find a way including my priest how to get their to monitor (the situation),” Bishop Ulep told church-run Radio Veritas.

“Hopefully the government and the militar will be able to send some rescue mission in Itbayat because the problem now is how to get there,” he said.

The earthquakes, magnitudes 5.4 and 6.4, hit the province early on Saturday. Several weaker aftershocks were recorded.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the quake’s epicenter was located at 19 kilometers northwest of Itbayat.  

No tsunami warnings have been issued.

Intensity IV was also felt at the province’s capital of Basco. (CBCPNews)

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