PORAC, Pampanga — Clearing operations at the collapsed Chuzon Supermarket started on Thursday after it was confirmed that there was no more sign of life beneath the rubble of the four-story building that was struck by a magnitude 6.1 earthquake last Monday.
Angelina Blanco, head of the Pampanga Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO), said in a phone interview that the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), along with private partners, had shifted from search and rescue to clearing operation as it was believed there was no more survivor in the collapsed building.
“We already accounted for the 92 employees of the Chuzon Supermarket as well as the customers who were trapped inside during Monday’s earthquake,” Blanco said.
She also confirmed that the total earthquake death toll in Pampanga is now 15 — 12 in Porac, two from Lubao town and one from Angeles City.
Out of the total figure, five of the casualties were retrieved from the collapsed Chuzon Supermarket, namely Hailee Dela Cruz, Manilyn Dela Cruz, Jacob Dela Cruz, Floralita Matamo, and Mary Ann Sales.
Five were rescued from the collapsed structure and brought to different hospitals for treatment.
Other casualties were Sophia Jane Arbis, Adrian Ocampo, Juvilyn Vera, Sheilla Serrano, Aries Serrano, Carlito Abuque, and Jeremo Kyle Enriquez, all from the different barangays in this town; Niella Denise Paule and Ma. Oliva Paule, from Lubao town and one unidentified individual in Angeles City.
Damage to properties and infrastructure in the province has yet to be determined as of posting time.
Meanwhile, various government agencies as well as the provincial government of Pampanga are extending various forms of assistance to the earthquake victims.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Regional Field Office 3 has so far given PHP685,664 worth of relief goods; PHP65,000 burial assistance and PHP110,000 medical assistance to victims in this province.
The DSWD has also conducted validation of damaged houses in Pampanga for the provision of emergency shelter and livelihood assistance.
The agency likewise vowed to facilitate employment of the displaced Chuzon workers.
DOLE Regional Director Zenaida Angara-Campita said that those who would not be hired in the May 1 job fair will be provided with livelihood assistance.
Provincial leaders headed by House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Governor Lilia Pineda have extended various assistance to the quake victims and the families of those who died. Marna Dagumboy Del Rosario /PNA – northboundasia.com