Death toll rises in Philippines earthquake that damaged 30 structures

Posted at 10:24 AM, May 14, 2019

At least 16 people have died after the Philippines was rattled by two major earthquakes, authorities said on Tuesday.

A further 81 people were injured and 14 remain missing, a statement from the Office of Civil Defense read.

The first tremor, a magnitude 6.1 quake, hit the Southeast Asian archipelago's Luzon island on Monday.

On Tuesday afternoon local time, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake with a depth of 53.6 miles (86.3km) was registered on the island of Samar in central Philippines, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS). No tsunami warning has been issued.

Some 29 structures and buildings sustained damage from the first quake, the Office of Civil Defense said. Power in certain areas of Eastern Samar was out, according to CNN Philippines.

A number of the deaths occurred when the Chuzon Supermarket branch in Porac town collapsed, killing and trapping dozens, CNN Philippines reported . A number of people have been rescued from the supermarket, although not all of its employees have been accounted for.

The owner of the supermarket chain has voluntarily surrendered to the police's investigative unit as they look into the collapse, according to the report. The Pampanga legislative board has ordered the closure of three other Chuzon Supermarket branches so their structural integrity can be inspected.

On Monday, Jaime Melo, president of the Clark International Airport Corporation, said seven people suffered minor injuries when a part of the ceiling at the check-in lobby collapsed, according to Philippine News Agency.

The airport will resume partial operations starting Wednesday, according to a statement. The statement added that the tower, runways and taxiways are structurally sound, and that passengers stranded during the closure would be prioritized.