2 Earthquakes Shake The Philippines; At Least 16 Dead

Written by

A resident looks at the rubble of St. Catherine church on Tuesday, including the toppled head of a statue, following a 6.1 magnitude earthquake in Pampanga province northwest of Manila the previous day. Photo by Bullit Marquez - AP

A powerful 6.4 earthquake struck the Philippines on Tuesday, the day after a different temblor took lives and collapsed buildings.

Rescuers continued to search for survivors from Monday's quake, centered just 50 miles northwest of Manila, the capital. That quake killed at least 16 people, according to The Associated Press. So far, it appears that Tuesday's 6.4 magnitude quake in Eastern Samar province did not cause any casualties or major damage.

Monday's magnitude 6.1 quake struck Pampanga province, north of Manila, shortly after 5 p.m. local time. A supermarket collapsed in the municipality of Porac, killing at least five people, the AP reports. Others remain missing.

One man was reportedly pulled out alive from the supermarket's rubble on Tuesday morning, to cheers from onlookers.

"We're all very happy, many clapped their hands in relief because we're still finding survivors after several hours," Porac Councilor Maynard Lapid told the AP.

Fifteen of the dead were in Pampanga province, the state news service reported. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte arrived in the affected area Tuesday, where he inspected the damage and was briefed on the situation.

Aurelia Daeng, 65, told Reuters that she was in her family's drugstore when Monday's quake struck. "It was very strong. It was our first time experiencing something like that," she told the news service. "This one, it's terrifying."

Monday's quake also shook the nation's capital, where panicked office workers fled buildings, some in hard hats, according to Reuters. Video showed water cascading from a skyscraper's rooftop pool in Manila.

More than 400 aftershocks continued to unsettle residents after Monday's quake, and the government closed more than 1,600 schools in the region. Central Luzon, the area struck, is in one of the country's most seismically active regions, home to three major faults and an oceanic trench.

Philippine seismologists said the two earthquakes were not related, the AP reports. The country is part of the "Ring of Fire," a belt of heavy seismic activity where some 90 percent of the world's earthquakes occur, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.