Pampanga quake death toll rises to 15; search for survivors still on

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga—The death toll from the 6.1-magnitude earthquake that hit parts of Luzon on Monday rose to 15 as rescuers scramble to find the missing persons believed still trapped inside the collapsed Chuzon Supermarket in Porac town, this province,

Based on the report from the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) as of 1:58 p.m. Tuesday, the latest casualties were Hailee Dela Cruz, 1; Manilyn Dela Cruz, 30; Jacob dela Cruz, 7; Floralita Matamo, and Mary Ann Sales, 25, whose bodies were all retrieved from the store.

Other casualties were identified as Sophi Jane Arbis, 2; Adrian Ocampo, 3; Juvilyn Vera, 30; Shiella Serrano, Aries Serrano, Carlito Abuque, and Jerome Kyle Enriquez, 3, all from Porac town and Nielle Denice Paule, 4, and Barin Paule, 55 both from Lubao town. There is also one unidentified fatality in Angeles City.

Meanwhile, 19 others are still missing reportedly trapped inside the collapsed supermarket.

Porac rescue officer Omar Tolentino earlier said there were still signs of life in the area even though 15 hours had passed since the four-story structure collapsed.

“Our rescuers heard the voices of those still trapped inside,” he said.

A total of 120 survivors were accounted for in the collapsed building.

The PSWDO said most of the survivors are workers and employees of Chuzon Supermarket.

It also reported that three houses in Barangay Mabuanbuan, Sasmuan were totally destroyed by the tremor.

Thirty-two houses, on the other hand, were partially damaged in the province broken down as: 10 houses in San Rafael, Guagua; 10 in Barangay San Antonio and 8 in Barangay Sta. Monica, both in Sasmuan; and four in Barangay Telabastagan, City of San Fernando.

Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office chief Angelina Blanco said disaster response equipment and manpower are still on standby 24/7.

“There is a continuous monitoring and coordination with local disaster risk reduction and management councils on the over-all situation of the 21 local government units in this province,” Blanco said. Marna Dagumboy Del Rosario and Ric Sapnu /PNA –