Today, July 16, 2010, marks the 20th anniversary of the devastating 1990 Luzon Earthquake. One of the cities most devastated by this disaster is Baguio. Plenty of buildings in the resort city collapsed and landslides left Baguio isolated for a few days. One of the famous destroyed buildings in Baguio is the Hyatt Terraces Hotel located along South Drive. The central wing of the hotel collapsed on itself killing 98 guests and hotel employees. To this day, the site of the former hotel remains undeveloped and is a famous supposed ghost haunt in Baguio.
Photo by Ferdz Decena.
Before the hotel’s collapse, the Hyatt was one of the “in” destinations in the city. Baguio was a popular convention and conference destination and the five-star Hyatt was probably the top hotel in Baguio for booking. Its magnificent terraced lobby (see these pictures shared at SkyscraperCity) was a sight to behold and its location near Camp John Hay was ideal. In addition, a casino was housed in the building. In fact, a seminar organized by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) was being held in the hotel when the earthquake struck. Many of its attendees were among the casualties.
Read this Inquirer article where a former hotel manager at Hyatt recounts her harrowing tale of the hotel’s collapse and her subsequent rescue. The photo above by Ferdz Decena shows what remains of the fountain that was found in front of the hotel.
What I most remember about the impact of the earthquake at Hyatt was that our family doctor was among the dead. Aside from that, the earthquake was not quite memorable in my young mind aside from the news coverage. I didn’t feel the tremor since I was in a school bus on the way home from school.
How about you? What were your memories of the July 16, 1990 earthquake?