Manila, Philippines — Bishop Leonardo Medroso reported to the Vatican on Tuesday’s earthquake that inflicted severe damage to Bohol province, according to reports.
The Bohol bishop said in an interview with Vatican Radio on Wednesday, “It’s very, very bad. The damage is enormous. I just went around this afternoon and you can cry [upon] seeing your big churches just turn into rubble”.
He said he mourned both the loss of lives and of the seven historic churches severely damaged in the region.
A Philstar.com report has updated the death toll to 151, making the 7.2 quake the Philippines’ fifth deadliest and fifth strongest in recorded history.
“Some were buried by landslide and others were caught up by falling debris … The [destroyed churches] were considered by the Church and the state as national treasures,” said the bishop in the interview.
In regards to the mood of the people in the areas, he said residents are still in a state of shock and even afraid to return inside their homes as aftershocks still strike one after another, said a Philippine media report.
He said some people are eating and camping outside in the squares and open spaces.
Medroso also said, “Our parish priests are going around to give people moral support but as of now, they can’t move much yet because of the aftershocks”.
The earthquake toppled the bell tower and damaged the Basilica of the Holy Child in Cebu city, the Philippines’ oldest church.