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7 dead, 81 hurt, 24 missing after Luzon quake —NDRRMC

Seven people were killed while 81 others were injured following Monday afternoon's magnitude 6.1 earthquake that struck several Luzon areas, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on Tuesday.

Interviewed on Dobol B sa News TV, NDRRMC spokesperson Edgar Posadas said as of Tuesday morning, rescuers were still looking for 24 people reported missing following the powerful earthquake.

He said most of the missing persons were believed trapped at the Chuzon Supermarket in Porac, Pampanga, which collapsed as a result of the tremor.

"Doon (Chuzon) po tayo nakatutok ngayon," Posadas said.

He said these figures, which came from the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in Region III (Central Luzon), are still up for validation.

Fear haunted Porac residents and some residents chose to sleep on the streets as they were afraid to stay in their residences after the earthquake.

Posadas also said that as of Tuesday morning, the NDRRMC has recorded 32 structures "affected" by the earthquake in the National Capital Region (NCR) and Central Luzon.

Among the buildings that have suffered damage are the Clark International Airport in Pampanga and the Emilio Aguinaldo College in Manila.

Aside from this, 22 schools from various regions have canceled classes for Tuesday while government work in NCR and the provinces of Zambales, Nueva Ecija and Pampanga was likewise suspended. Work in all courts in Metro Manila and Central Luzon on Tuesday was suspended as well.

Despite the intensity of the quake, Posadas said no major roads were declared impassable, although a landslide in San Marcelino, Zambales, prompted the evacuation of some 120 families.

Intermittent power outages, meanwhile, are being experienced in Pangasinan, La Union, Pampanga and Bataan provinces.

Blue alert

The NDRRMC is currently on blue alert, according to Posadas.

"Ibig sabihin meron hong augmentation [from other government agencies] kagaya ng ating uniformed services, kagaya ho ng DOTr (Department of Transportation), kagaya ng iba't ibang ahensiya primarily involved sa response," he said.

He said the same alert level is raised by OCD in Central Luzon.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) said that as of 7 a.m. Tuesday, it has recorded 406 aftershocks. Of this number, 62 were plotted and eight were felt.

The government, through PHIVOLCS, is closely monitoring the situation after the earthquake, said presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said on Monday.

"We assure our people that concerned agencies of the government are already responding and assisting those in troubled conditions and shall continue to do so for as long as necessary," he said in a statement. —KBK/KG, GMA News