Manila: Parts of Visayas and Bicol were rocked by a magnitude 6.5 earthquake on Tuesday, less than 24 hours after a similarly powerful seismic event caused deaths and damage in the Central Luzon region up north.
According to Philippine Institute of Seismology and Volcanology (Phivolcs) Director Renato Solidum, a 6.5 magnitude earthquake struck eastern Samar at 1.37pm Tuesday with the epicentre located in San Julian, Eastern Samar.
Photos uploaded in social media showed that the Eastern Samar earthquake was powerful enough to cause injury to several people and damage on some infrastructure such as roads and houses.
A tourist staying at the Summit Hotel in Tacloban was reported hurt. Rolando Espino, Red Cross Coordinator in Catbalogan City said the provincial capitol sustained minor damages.
The earthquake was felt at intensity five in Tacloban City, Guiuan and nearby areas.
Likewise it was also felt in Bicol’s Sorsogon and Naga City as well as Negros Occidental and Masbate.
Solidum said they expect aftershocks to occur.
The earthquake in the Visayas and Bicol occurred just 21 hours after a magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck the Central Luzon region with effects felt as far away as Metro Manila dozens of kilometres away.
Badly hit from that particular quake was Pampanga, particularly in the town of Porac where a supermarket collapsed with seven confirmed killed and 24 individuals missing as of 7am Tuesday, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) said. Other unofficial reports placed the number of fatalities at 11.
“We are all together. The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) continues the search and rescue operations for the missing individuals at Chuzon Supermarket. We deployed our assets from nearby chapters to provide additional manpower in affected areas. No one shall be left behind,” PRC chairman Richard Gordon said.
In Pampanga’s adjacent province of Zambales, where the epicentre of the earthquake was located, a six year old died after he was buried in a landslide in Mount Bimmukel in San Marcelino town.
Reports reaching Manila said Porac Mayor Carling dela Cruz and the municipal council had declared the town under a state of calamity.
In Clark, Pampanga, the Clark International Airport was forced to shut down operations on Monday afternoon following the earthquake.