Philippines hit by second earthquake in two days as rescuers were still finding bodies from day before

Rescuers continue to search for survivors following Monday’s magnitude 6.1 earthquake Credit: AP Photo/Bullit Marquez

A second earthquake hit the Philippines in as many days as rescuers were still finding more bodies in the rubble of a supermarket from the day before.

The US Geological Survey said the magnitude 6.4 quake hit San Julian in central Philippines on Tuesday, coming just a day after another at 6.1 hit the north.

While there are no immediate reports of casualties or major damage from the new quake, the death toll from Monday has risen to 16.

Classes and office work were suspended in San Julian, where cracks on roads and small buildings and a church have been found.

Power was deliberately cut as a precaution in the quake's aftermath, officials said.

Workers use heavy equipment to clear an area as rescue efforts continue for people still trapped Credit: AP Photo/Vhic Y Naluz
  • Rescuers were still finding people

Meanwhile, rescuers worked overnight to recover bodies in the rubble of a supermarket that crashed down north of capital Manila during Monday's quake, which also damaged an airport.

The bodies of five victims were pulled from Chuzon Supermarket and seven other villagers died due to collapsed house walls in hard-hit Porac town in Pampanga province, said Ricardo Jalad, who heads the government's disaster-response agency.

On Tuesday morning, rescuers pulled out a man alive to cheers and applause.

“We’re all very happy, many clapped their hands in relief because we’re still finding survivors after several hours,” Porac Councillor Maynard Lapid said, adding that another victim was expected to be pulled out alive soon.

Red Cross volunteers, army troops, police and villagers used four cranes, crow bars and sniffer dogs to look for the missing, some of whom were still yelling for help on Monday night.

Authorities inserted a large orange tube into the rubble to blow in oxygen in the hope of helping people still pinned there to breathe.

Jalad said at least 15 people died in Pampanga province, including those in hard-hit Porac town.

The damage at St. Catherine church after Monday's quake. Credit: AP

The 6.1-magnitude quake damaged many houses, concrete roads, bridges, Roman Catholic churches and an international airport terminal at Clark Airport, a former American air base, in Pampanga.

A child died in a landslide in nearby Zambales province, officials said.

At least 14 people remained missing in the rice-growing agricultural region, most of them in the rubble of the collapsed supermarket in Porac, while 81 others were injured, according to the government's disaster-response agency.

Residents watch as the rescue efforts continue Credit: AP Photo/Bullit Marquez

The four-story building housing the supermarket crashed down when the quake shook Pampanga as well as several other provinces and Manila, the Philippines' capital, on the main northern island of Luzon.

More than 400 aftershocks have been recorded, mostly unfelt.

The U.S. Geological Survey's preliminary estimate is that more than 49 million people were exposed to some shaking from the earthquake, with more than 14 million people likely to feel moderate shaking or more.

Clark airport was closed temporarily because of damaged check-in counters, ceilings and parts of the departure area, airport official Jaime Melo said, adding that seven people were slightly injured and more than 100 flights were canceled.

Workers fix the damage at Clark Airport. Credit: AP
  • How the capital was effected

In Manila, thousands of office workers dashed out of buildings in panic, some wearing hard hats, and residents ran out of houses as the ground shook.

Many described the ground movement like sea waves.

A traffic-prone Manila street was partially closed after a college building was damaged by the quake and appeared to tilt slightly sideways toward an adjacent building, officials said.

Many schools and government offices, including courts, in the densely packed Manila metropolis were closed Tuesday to allow inspections of their buildings.

Philippine seismologists said the back-to-back quakes in the last two days were unrelated and caused by different local faults.

One of the world's most disaster-prone countries, the Philippines has frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions because it lies on the so-called Pacific "Ring of Fire," a seismically active arc of volcanos and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.

A magnitude 7.7 quake killed nearly 2,000 people in the northern Philippines in 1990.