The epicenter of the earthquake is located near the city of Castillejos, about 100km north-west of Manila. Over 90 people are missing in the collapse of a supermarket in Porac. A state of calamity was also declared in Floridablanca, Guagua, Sasmuan, Lubao and Sta. Rita. Damage in 10 churches of historical interest. PIME missionary: "There is no fear in the country, the Filipinos reacted calmly".
Manila (AsiaNews) - The provisional toll of the magnitude 6.3 earthquake that struck the Central Luzon region in the northern Philippines last night is fifteen dead. Rescue teams are now trying to reach over 90 people who are feared to have been buried in the collapse of a Porac supermarket in the province of Pampanga - the one most devastated by the earthquake. Four people died in the collapse of the four-storey building; 12 others were injured.
Geologists say that the epicenter of the earthquake is located near the city of Castillejos, about 100km north-west of Manila. More than 400 aftershocks were recorded since the initial earthquake. The authorities declared a state of calamity in the Pampanga area covering the cities of Porac, Floridablanca, Guagua, Sasmuan, Lubao and Sta. Rita. Nine schools, 10 churches of historical interest and the Megadike FVR, the last defense of the province against the lava flows of Mount Pinatubo are among the structures that have suffered the greatest damage.
Fr. Giovanni Re, a missionary of the Pontifical Foreign Missions (PIME), told AsiaNews: "Here in Parañaque City [home to the Institute's regional house] we felt the quake, but the tremor was not strong. The vibrations lasted only a few seconds. In the most affected areas, we do not yet know exactly what the actual damage is. The Filipino population lives these hours without particular apprehension since the consequences of the earthquake, at least for the moment, seem to be limited. In the last few years, several typhoons have hit the country that have sown many more deaths and destruction. This explains the relative tranquility with which the Filipinos reacted in the face of this earthquake ".