Despite the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that rocked Dumaguete City and other parts of Negros Oriental and Central Visayas Tuesday, an initial survey showed little or no damage to major tourist destinations in the province, the Provincial Tourism Office said.
Maritone Mascardo, OIC tourism officer, reported at Wednesday's meeting of the Provincial Risk Reduction and Management Council with heads of offices and other government line agencies, for an evaluation of damages from the earthquake.
The meeting also assessed the destruction wrought by the floods that hit Bayawan City, Basay, Sta. Catalina and other areas of Negros Oriental on October 6.
In her report to the PDRRMC, Mascardo said the tourist destinations inspected include the Protected Seascape and Landscape and Apo Island; the Mabinay Caves, including the Bulwang/Crystal Cave and the Pangliwan Cave, the Mabinay Spring, Hotel and Zipline; White Sand Bar in Manjuyod; and the dolphin and whale watching industry in Bais City.
Reports also said that, in Apo Island, no damages were noted in the resorts and neighboring houses as only mild to moderate tremors were felt during the earthquake.
However, the Coast Guard suspended the operation of all pump boats and other seacrafts traveling to the dive spot.
No records were immediately made available as to the status of the coral reefs in Apo Island, and minimal damage was reported by the tourism office in the caves of Mabinay.
At the Bulwang/Crystal Cave, facilities were intact and no injuries were reported.
Cave guides, meanwhile, are still inspecting the Panligawan Cave for cracks while at the Mabinay Spring, Hotel and Zipline, four cabanas were spared by the earthquake.
The zipline also withstood the earthquake, although operation had stopped when the calamity struck.
Cottages at the White Sand Bar in Manjuyod did not show signs of destruction and no tourists were at the site at the time.
As to the dolphin and whale watching activity in Bais City, no damage was seen or reported.
Mascardo said the Twin Lakes in Sibulan and Lake Balanan in Siaton have yet to be assessed and inspected.*JFP
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