Manila – The Philippine government on Wednesday assured Filipinos affected by two strong back-to-back earthquakes that it was “on top of the situation” and ready to provide assistance to all.
No fewer than 16 people were killed, overn 80 were injured and 14 were still missing after the first quake jolted the country’s north on Monday.
The magnitude-6.1 tremor was the strongest to be felt in capital Manila in years.
According to the national disaster relief agency, on Tuesday, a magnitude-6.5 earthquake rattled the eastern Philippines, injuring 10 people.
“We assure our people that the government is on top of the situation and we are ready to respond anywhere and anytime,’’ presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said.
According to him, concerned disaster agencies of the government, including those involved in the provision of basic and health services, are now working round the clock to ensure government service delivery remains unhampered.
In Pampanga province, the worst-hit area, rescuers were continuing to dig through the rubble of a four-storey supermarket building in Porac town, 83 kilometres north of Manila, in spite of fading hopes of finding survivors.
Fourteen people were still reported missing from the collapse of the supermarket, however authorities said rescuers were no longer hearing sounds from the rubble.
The nearby Clark International Airport was scheduled to re-open on Wednesday.
It was forced to shut down operations after its ceiling crashed and cracks were reported on its towers following the quake.