Violent cracks crisscrossed the dome, and stone from the roof continued to fall onto the church’s wooden pews. On Sunday evening, the cupola split and half crashed to the floor.
“Each earthquake has left its mark,” said Marco Antonio Fuentes, part of the church’s ministry team. “This one seems to be the straw that will break the camel’s back.”
According to the Archdiocese of Mexico, more than 150 religious buildings in this deeply Catholic country were damaged by Tuesday’s deadly quake. Statues of saints have been left maimed, missing hands and feet. Once towering, celestial church naves now open to the sky. Dust from fallen stone and concrete covers altars.
Many of the battered churches are in the state of Puebla, where the quake’s epicenter was located. There in the city of Atzala, a child’s baptism turned into tragedy when the roof of a church collapsed, killing 11 family members inside, including the 2-month-old girl being christened. [More]