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Several killed, airport ceiling collapses in Philippine quake

Buildings sway in Manila

A magnitude 6.1 earthquake has killed at least eight people in the Philippines, while dozens more are feared trapped in a collapsed building. 


The quake, which struck the country’s main island of Luzon, just 60 kilometres north of Manila, has also disrupted travel in the region, with air, rail and road transport all affected. 


Clark International Airport, which is located close to the quake’s epicentre, was forced to shut down after part of its ceiling collapsed. 



The collapse occurred in a check-in area of the airport and injured at least seven people, the Manila Bulletin reported. 


Clark’s crisis team, headed by airport chief Jaime Melo said the runway had not been damaged by the quake. 


“We have to ensure the soundness of the building structure and other facilities as we are assessing other structural damages around the airport,” Melo said. 


Lilia Pineda, provincial governor of Pampanga, which was the worst hit province, said rescuers were currently focusing on reaching people trapped under a four-storey building that crushed a supermarket. 


"They can be heard crying in pain," she said of those trapped. "It won't be easy to rescue them."


According to AAP, the Philippine government has urged for calm. 


"We urge them to refrain from spreading disinformation in social media that may cause undue alarm, panic and stress," presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said.


In capital Manila, tall buildings could be seen swaying for several minutes during the tremors.


"We got nervous, we got dizzy. I ran downstairs with three kids," domestic worker Arlene Puno said.


One of the more unusual sightings was of waves of water pouring down from a rooftop pool atop a skyscraper.


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Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 23 April 2019

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