DAMAGED INFRA. Bricks fall from a century-old building within the Badoc church compound in Ilocos Norte. The July 27, 2022 earthquake damage to Ilocos infrastructure has reached over PHP136 million. (Photo courtesy of BFP Badoc)

LAOAG CITY – The provinces of Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur have sustained over PHP136 million estimated damage to infrastructure, mostly affecting schools and century-old buildings, from last week’s strong earthquake, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC) from both provinces reported on Monday.

In Ilocos Norte, the PDRRMC said there were 13 public schools in this city and the towns of Adams, Dumalneg, Pinili, Paoay, and Dingras that were partially damaged.

It said the century-old church convent in Bacarra and the Immaculate Conception Parish in Batac City were also partially damaged.

Several cracks on the walls and ceilings were noted in some public buildings, such as the municipal hall of Paoay, the municipal port of Badoc, and a birthing facility in Adams.

At least 10 residential houses in Pinili, Dingras, and Marcos towns were also reported partially damaged.

“The estimated cost of repair for the reported damage to infrastructure in the province could reach PHP84.53 million,” said Marcel Tabije, local disaster risk reduction, and management officer in Ilocos Norte.

As of August 1, neighboring Ilocos Sur province also incurred damage of over PHP52 million in infrastructure involving historical sites, ancestral houses, bridges, and government buildings.

Included in the list are the Bantay watch tower and the St. Augustine Parish Church, the St. Paul Metropolitan Cathedral, and bell tower in Vigan, houses in the famed Calle Crisologo, St. John de Sahagun church and belfry in Candon City, and the Our Lady of Hope Parish Church in Caoayan, among others.

Due to the recurrence of land or rockslides caused by continuous aftershocks and heavy rainfall, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Region 1 reported that the Tagudin-Cervantes road and intermittent sections remain closed as clearing operations are ongoing.

In a road advisory, it said the municipality of Cervantes can be reached via an alternate route.

“If bound to Cervantes from Candon City, take Junction Santiago-Banayoyo-Lidlidda-San Emilio Quirino road (45.736 kilometers) and Cervantes-Quirino road (26.511 kilometers) and vice versa,” a statement posted in the DPWH Region 1 Facebook page reads.

All other national roads and bridges are passable to all types of vehicles, added in the advisory.

Commuters, however, are advised to take precautionary measures while traversing affected national roads and bridges for continuous aftershocks. (PNA)