An earthquake of tectonic origin struck Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon late yesterday afternoon killing at least five in Porac, Pampanga and injuring dozens of others, officials said.
The names of the five fatalities were not immediately known although reports said they were killed by falling debris in a local commercial establishment.
Video footage showed cracks on the road in some areas in Porac as well as parts of a building which collapsed.
As of press time, officials are still collating reports from Central Luzon and other areas affected by the 5.7 magnitude quake which was recorded at 5:11 in the afternoon.
The quake struck at 2 km northeast of Castillejos in Zambales, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).
Phivolcs measured the quake at magnitude 5.7 at first and later raised it to 6.1. The United States Geological Survey measured that quake at magnitude 6.3.
The earthquake, with a depth of focus of 21 km and lasted for around 30 seconds, was felt at varying reported intensities, as follows:
• Quezon City, Valenzuela, and Manila in Metro Manila
• San Felipe in Zambales
• Malolos and Obando in Bulacan
• Lipa in Batangas
• Abucay in Bataan
• Magalang in Pampanga
• Caloocan, Marikina, Pasig, Makati, and Las Piñas in Metro Manila
• Meycauayan and San Jose del Monte in Bulacan
• Floridablanca in Pampanga
• Villasis in Pangasinan
• Tagaytay in Cavite
• Baguio City in Benguet
• Muntinlupa in Metro Manila
• Dasmariñas, Indang, and General Trias in Cavite
• Lucban in Quezon
• Cabanatuan, Palayan, Gapan, Santo Domingo, and Talavera in Nueva Ecija
• Baler in Aurora
Philippine National Police spokesman’, Colonel Bernard M. Banac advised the public to remain calm and be wary of government announcements.
PNP Chief, Police General Oscar Albayalde also directed the PNP Director for Logistics,Major General Edwin C. Roque to immediately deploy all available PNP transport vehicles consisting of four coasters, one (bus, and four trucks to help transport stranded people from Cubao to Monumento and Cubao to Pasay Taft following the earthquake.
Banac asked the public to remain calm; follow the drill and procedures on earthquake if necessary. “We assure our people that the PNP will stay to provide security, remain alert, and ready to respond for any call for help,” he said.
Train operations suspended
The operations of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line 3, Light Rail Transit (LRT) Lines 1 and 2, and Philippine National Railways (PNR) were suspended at around 5 p.m. after an earthquake hit Luzon yesterday.
“Stop operation muna tayo ngayon sa MRT3 (We’ve stopped MRT3 operations for now) to assess the status of our structures. We need to first ensure that our structures are safe,” said Transportation Assistant Secretary Goddes Libiran in a statement.
Libiran said Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade ordered the suspension so as not to risk commuters’ safety.
Employees in private offices were also sent home early by their employers after the earthquake.