Pampanga district placed under state of calamity in quake aftermath

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 23 2019 05:32 PM | Updated as of Apr 23 2019 05:55 PM

Emergency workers continue search and rescue efforts at the Chuzon Supermarket in Porac, Pampanga on Tuesday, April 23, 2019. The structure collapsed after a 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck in Luzon Monday afternoon. Val Cuenca, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATE) - The second district of Pampanga was placed under a state of calamity Tuesday after a devastating 6.1-magnitude quake struck Luzon on Monday, killing several in the province and causing damage on houses and other structures.

A state of calamity was earlier declared in the entire province by the Pampanga Provincial Legislative Board.

But Pampanga Gov. Lilia Pineda said other areas of the province were not severely affected by the quake.

The second district covers the towns of Floridablanca, Guagua, Lubao, Porac, Santa Rita, and Sasmuan.

The Pampanga Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) said it has also ordered the temporary closure of Chuzon Supermarket branches in Apalit, Sto. Tomas and Guagua towns to give way to structural assessments.

At least 4 bodies have been retrieved from the supermarket's Porac branch which collapsed, while 8 people have been pulled out alive from the rubble as of 5 a.m. Tuesday, the PDRRMO said.

"We cannot account for all the more than 90 Chuzon workers. We have no information if they managed to run to safety or if they were trapped in the rubble," Pampanga Vice Governor Dennis Pineda said. 

"We advised the management to make the survivors or their relatives report their situation until a full accounting of people is done."

At least 16 people were killed in the earthquake, one of the strongest to strike close to the densely populated Philippine capital in years.

The tremor was centered on the town of Castillejos, Zambales, about 100 kilometers northwest of Manila, but the quake caused more damage in Pampanga because of its softer ground, Phivolcs chief Renato Solidum said. --With a report from Joyce Balancio, ABS-CBN News