PORAC, Pampanga -- The number of earthquake-related deaths in Pampanga has reached 17 as of 11 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, with rescuers retrieving more bodies from the rubble of the Chuzon Supermarket that collapsed after a 6.1-magnitude earthquake hit Luzon on Monday.
Rescue operations were temporarily suspended on Wednesday morning, April 24, when a magnitude 4.5 aftershock struck Zambales province around 2 a.m., the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said.
Over 600 aftershocks have been recorded after the magnitude 6.1 quake.
The risk of further collapse on the remaining fourth-floor structure of the Chuzon rubble is high, with the occurrence of string aftershocks posing danger to lives of rescuers.
Rescuers have rescued nine survivors from the rubble as of Tuesday, April 23.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported Wednesday 81 injured and 14 still missing.
The initial earthquake-related casualties identified early Tuesday include Nielle Denice Paule, 4, and Barin Paule, 55, both from Lubao town; Sophi Jane Arbis, 2, Adrian Ocampo, 3, Juvilyn Vera, 30, all from Porac town; Hailee Dela Cruz, 1, Manilyn Dela Cruz, 30, Jacob Dela Cruz, 7, Floralita Matamo, and Mary Ann Sales, 25, all retrieved from Chuzon Supermarket; Shiella Serrano, Aries Serrano, Carlito Abuque from Camias Porac; and Jerome Kyle Enriquez, 3, from Planas, Porac.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is expected to help cover the funeral expenses of the earthquake victims.
Several residents in Porac town were also affected by the earthquake, with some losing homes.
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Ronaldo Bautista had ordered the distribution of 200 family food packs to families in Porac.
DSWD also provided emergency shelter assistance to 56 families in eight communities in Porac amounting to P30,000 for destroyed houses and P10,000 for damaged houses.