7.4 Magnitude Earthquake Topples Down Historic Buildings and Churches in Philippines (PHOTOS)

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The 7.4 magnitude quake that struck Bohol island in the southern Philippines has not only damaged malls and ripped roads apart in the province, it has also caused massive damage to at least two historical churches.

Netizens provided local news outlets on-the-spot photos of what happened after the quake that struck at 8a.m. local time caused to major structures in Bohol and surrounding areas.

Photos showing extensive damages to the Basílica Minore del Santo Niño in Cebu and Loboc Church in Bohol have gone viral.

Read more: Bohol, Cebu Earthquake: 7.4 Magnitude Quake Hit PH Provinces; Damage, Cracks to Properties Reported (PHOTOS)

The Basílica Minore del Santo Niño in Cebu is recognized as the oldest church established in the Philippines. According to historians, the church was built right on the spot where the image of the Sto. Niño de Cebu was found by Spanish explorers led by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi in 1565. The Sto. Niño de Cebu is a statue depicting the Holy Child Jesus, given by Ferdinand Magellan to the wife of Rajah Humabon as a gift forty years before Humabon baptized into Christianity on April 1521. The church was completed from 1739-1740.

Loboc Church in Bohol, meantime, is regarded as one of the most beautiful in the entire province. It has a very colourful history. First built in 1602, gutted by fire in 1638 and then rebuilt again beside the site of the older one, Loboc Church is a very fine example of the Jesuit colonial architecture of the 18th century.

Loboc Church contains a lot of interesting treasures, including decorative stone carvings and friezes on the exterior walls; a relief of St. Ignatius in polychrome stucco intriguingly hidden behind the main altar, seven ancient retables from both the Jesuit and Recollect periods; ceiling murals done in the 1920s by the Cebuano artists Rey Farncia and Canuto Avila, one depicting the miracle of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the town's secondary patron, during the great flood of 1876; and, carved wooden cornices and decorative corbels shaped as gargoyles or mythical animals.

The 7.4 magnitude quake has also damaged parts of the Mactan-Cebu international airport, causing flights in and out of the region to be cancelled.

See the slideshow for more photos.

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