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National Museum to rehabilitate heritage sites damaged by magnitude 7 quake

The National Museum of the Philippines (NMP) affirmed its commitment to conduct collaborative efforts for the rehabilitation and restoration of several heritage sites that were damaged after a magnitude 7 earthquake rocked Abra early Wednesday.

“We commend our partners in the local government and private sector who took the initiative to document the damages incurred by them and secure the movable objects contained therein,” the NMP said in a statement.

“We appeal for calm and solidarity in this time of emergency and rest assured that your #NationalMuseumPH will remain to be a reliable partner in rebuilding and preserving our cultural heritage,” it added.

Senator Imee Marcos said several heritage sites and main roads in Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur were damaged due to the quake.

Among the damaged sites were Vigan Calle Crisologo houses, the Bantay and Laoag bell towers, the Sarrat Church, Vigan Cathedral, and the Sarrat heritage municipal hall.

The earthquake hit Tayum, Abra at 8:43 a.m., causing landslides and damaged structures in many parts of Northern Luzon.

Aftershocks and damage were expected, but there was no threat of a tsunami, Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said.

Meanwhile, the Museum extended condolences to the victims of the quake.

“The National Museum of the Philippines condoles with everyone affected by the Magnitude 7.0 Earthquake that hit Luzon earlier today. We join our people in this time of great distress caused by the recent catastrophe,” it said.

The strong earthquake left at least four people dead, and 60 others injured.

According to the Museum, all colleagues stationed at Ilocos Regional Museum Complex, Cagayan Valley Regional Museum, Batanes Area Museum, Cordillera Rice Terraces Site Museum, and Kabayan Burial Caves Site Museum are all safe.

“They have since been in constant effort to appraise the effects of the earthquake on our regional facilities and sites. These facilities will be closed to the public for the time being until a complete assessment has been made to ensure that the integrity of these structures remains intact,” the NMP said.

“Likewise, our researchers and other personnel who are currently conducting archaeological fieldwork in Rizal, Kalinga are also in a safe condition,” it added.—LDF, GMA News