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Heritage churches closed following Philippine earthquake

MANILA (UCAN): Several old churches in the province of Pampanga have been closed after a 6.1-magnitude earthquake shook the island of Luzon, the Philippines, on April 22.
 
At least 11 people have been reported killed while 24 others were missing, most of whom were residents of the town of Porac.
 
The Archdiocesan Committee on Church Heritage in San Fernando, about 80 kilometres north of the capital, Manila, announced that all heritage churches were closed to the public.
 
“Upon consulting our technical experts, (we) recommend a lockdown of all heritage churches until they are deemed safe,” read an announcement posted on social media.
 
The committee said no activities would be allowed inside the churches, which will be cordoned off.
 
Among the structures reportedly damaged by the earthquake was the bell tower of St. Catherine of Alexandria Church in the town of Porac.
 
Also reported damaged was the belfry of San Agustin Parish Church in Lubao.
 
Cracks were also reported to have appeared in the ceiling of the Metropolitan Cathedral of San Fernando, inside the Holy Rosary Parish Church in Angeles City, and at the parish church and convent of St. James the Apostle parish in Betis.
 
Several cracks were also seen on the belfry of Santa Rita de Cascia parish Church in Santa Rita, Pampanga, and at the Apung Mamacalulu Shrine in Angeles City.
 
The earthquake also triggered several landslides in Zambales province, killing a six-year-old child in San Marcelino.
 
The seismology office recorded more than 200 aftershocks, including a 3.4-magnitude quake in Angeles City, Pampanga, early on April 23.

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