Pampanga now under state of calamity

PAMPANGA, Philippines – The provincial board on Tuesday, April 23, placed Pampanga under a state of calamity following a strong earthquake that struck the province and other parts of Luzon.

In a statement sent to the media, Vice Governor Dennis Pineda, presiding officer of the provincial board, said the declaration of state of calamity was done “to enable the people to immediately rebuild after the 6.1 magnitude earthquake late afternoon on Monday, April 22."

Pineda, who is also vice chair of the Pampanga Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), said that he had asked the mayors of Apalit, Sto Tomas, and Guagua towns where there are branches of Chuzon Supermarket to order the temporary closure of the grocery stores “to give way to structural assessments.” 

The Chuzon Supermarket that sits at the ground floor of the 4-story building in Porac town collapsed during the earthquake, trapping people underneath the rubble.  (READ: DWPH to order inspection of Chuzon grocery stores after Luzon earthquake)

Rescuers had so far retrieved 4 dead and 8 injured workers of the grocery store.

"We cannot account for all the more than 90 Chuzon workers. We have no information if they managed to run to safety or if they were trapped in the rubble.  We advised the management to make the survivors or their relatives report their situation until a full accounting of people is done," Pineda said. 

Governor Lilia Pineda declared a suspension of work in public and private institutions in the entire province on April 23. – Rappler.com