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Summer of Victories 2019

 

Philippines Earthquake: 16 Killed & 24 Missing As Rescuers Race to Find Survivors

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By Staff, Agencies

A new powerful earthquake hit the central Philippines on Tuesday, a day after a magnitude 6.1 quake rattled the country’s north and left at least 16 people dead, including in a collapsed supermarket, where rescuers scrambled to find survivors.

The US Geological Survey put the magnitude of Tuesday’s quake at 6.4, while the local seismology agency said it was 6.5. The quake was centered near San Julian town in Eastern Samar province and prompted residents to dash out of houses and office workers to scamper to safety.

The national disaster agency said the Monday earthquake injured 81 people and damaged 29 buildings across Luzon island, with 14 people reported missing.

Rescue teams in the Philippines searched for signs of life beneath the tangled debris from a collapsed four-story commercial building on Tuesday after a strong earthquake shook the country’s biggest island, killing at least 16 people.

Classes and office work were suspended in San Julian, where cracks on roads and small buildings and a church were reported. Power was deliberately cut as a precaution in the quake’s aftermath, officials said.

Meanwhile, rescuers worked overnight to recover bodies in the rubble of a supermarket that crashed down in Monday’s quake, which damaged other buildings and an airport in the northern Philippines.

The bodies of five victims were pulled from Chuzon Supermarket and seven other villagers died due to collapsed house walls in hard-hit Porac town in Pampanga province, north of Manila, said Ricardo Jalad, who heads the government’s disaster-response agency.

Red Cross volunteers, army troops, police and villagers used four cranes, crow bars and sniffer dogs to look for the missing, some of whom were still yelling for help Monday night.

Authorities inserted a large orange tube into the rubble to blow in oxygen in the hope of helping people still pinned there to breathe. On Tuesday morning, rescuers pulled out a man alive, sparking cheers and applause.

“We’re all very happy, many clapped their hands in relief because we’re still finding survivors after several hours,” Porac Councilor Maynard Lapid said by phone from the scene, adding that another victim was expected to be pulled out alive soon.

Jalad said at least 15 people died in Pampanga province, including those who perished in Porac town. The quake damaged houses, roads, bridges, Roman Catholic churches and an international airport terminal at Clark Freeport, a former American air base, in Pampanga. A state of calamity was declared in Porac to allow contingency funds to be released faster.

A child died in a landslide in nearby Zambales province, officials said.

At least 14 people remained missing in the rice-growing agricultural region, most of them in the rubble of the collapsed supermarket in Porac, while 81 others were injured, according to the government’s disaster-response agency.

The four-story building housing the supermarket crashed down when the quake shook Pampanga as well as several other provinces and Manila, the Philippines’ capital, on the main northern island of Luzon.

More than 400 aftershocks have been recorded, mostly unfelt.

The US Geological Survey’s preliminary estimate is that more than 49 million people were exposed to some shaking from the earthquake, with more than 14 million people likely to feel moderate shaking or more.

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