At least 31 Black Nazarene devotees were reported hurt during the thanksgiving procession at Quiapo church in Manila on Sunday.
Some of the devotees who experienced dizziness and fainted were given first aid at the medical tents stationed around the church.
Reports said about 250,000 devotees participated in the thanksgiving procession that started at 2 a.m.
The Black Nazarene, believed to be miraculous and is venerated by millions of Filipinos, is taken out of its official residence — the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, also known as Quiapo church — three times a year: on Good Friday, on New Year’s eve and on January 9, its feast day. It is on January 9 when the traslacion, the country’s biggest procession, is held. The hours-long procession is joined by millions of bare-footed Black Nazarene devotees.
On Friday, the Manila Police District (MPD) issued a traffic advisory for motorists to take alternate routes on Sunday, December 31 because of the thanksgiving procession of the Black Nazarene.
Three major roads were closed starting at 1 a.m. for the religious event – the southbound lane of Quezon Boulevard (Quiapo) from A. Mendoza/Fugoso to Plaza Miranda; eastbound lane of Recto Avenue from Rizal Avenue to SH Loyola Street; and westbound lane of España Boulevard from P. Campa to Lerma Street.