Philippines offers solidarity with France after Notre Dame fire

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 16 2019 03:02 PM | Updated as of Apr 16 2019 03:26 PM

Philippines offers solidarity with France after Notre Dame fire 1
Smoke billows as flames burn through the roof of the Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral on Monday, in the French capital Paris.  Fabien Barrau, AFP

MANILA -- The Philippines on Tuesday offered solidarity with France after flames engulfed the historical Notre-Dame Cathedral.

Malacañang, in a statement, expressed solidarity with Paris after a massive fire consumed the cathedral, destroying the French landmark.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of France as well as in solidarity with the rest of the world for this heartbreaking incident,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.

“We wish the French nation all the best as they undertake efforts to rebuild this great monument in Paris restored to its majestic sight,” he added.

Built over a century starting in 1163, Notre-Dame is considered to be among the finest examples of French Gothic cathedral architecture.

It is renowned for its rib vaulting, flying buttresses, and stunning stained glass windows, as well as its many carved stone gargoyles.

Crowds of stunned Parisians and tourists -- some crying, others offering prayers -- watched in horror in central Paris on Monday night as firefighters struggled for hours to extinguish the flames engulfing the Notre-Dame Cathedral.

Flames ravaging the roof illuminated the outline of the monument's two square towers in a fiery glow, and were reflected in the waters of the Seine.

Along the Pont au Change bridge, which connects the Ile de la Cite with the Right Bank, the atmosphere was one of a vigil as hundreds of people watched in hushed silence as smoke rose into the night sky.

- With a report from Agence France-Presse, Reuters