Locals Gather In Colombia Despite Lockdown As Image Of Jesus Christ 'Appears In Tree'
Residents of the Jose Antonio Galan neighborhood, which is in the town of Magangue in the northern Colombian department of Bolivar, decided to leave their hopes to congregate at the Ceiba tree.
They reportedly said a figure of Christ had mysteriously appeared within the tree trunk.
In a video recorded by journalist Rafael Rodriguez for the local media outlet El Propio de Magangue, the locals can be seen taking photos of the tree.
Rodriguez said: "Dozens of people are gathered here. They are here to see the figure of what they say or believe is the figure of Christ, they have forgotten about coronavirus and are currently here looking at this figure."
In Rodriguez' video, you can make out what appears to be an image of Jesus, which is placed fairly high up in the tree.
Local shopkeeper Agustina Diaz told reporters: "It can clearly be seen, and everybody is praying and asking for Earth to be cured of this evil and for Magangue to be protected."
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Local authorities are said to be concerned about the tree becoming a pilgrimage site at a time when the country is in lockdown due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
Local journalist Rodolfo Zambrano said: "The figure appeared last Sunday night and people rushed there with candles and transformed the place into a pilgrimage site, which is concerning neighbours as a lot of people are going there."
The local bishop has not yet commented on the strange incident, and remains at home during the lockdown.
Reports state that Carlos Cabrales, the Mayor of Magangue, was told about the gathering and joined police at the scene to force people to return home.
Earlier this week, Colombian President Ivan Duque extended the country's nationwide quarantine until 27 April.
Duque said during a live television broadcast: "This isolation - which seeks the best of all of us - is exactly so we can keep saving lives, breaking the exponential growth of this pandemic."
Health Minister Fernando Ruiz added that infection numbers are lower than initially expected, saying: "There is a very big difference between what we thought we were going to have and the reality."
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