Monday and Tuesday last week saw consecutive earthquakes of 6.1 and 6.5 magnitudes hit the Philippines province of Pampanga. More than 400 aftershocks have been registered since the initial quake, Philippine seismologists said.
The death toll from the first quake rose to 15 with many more hospitalized. Fears are still held for others that are missing.
The second earthquake hit the Philippines as rescue teams searched for signs of life beneath the rubble of a collapsed four-storey commercial building after the strong earthquake shook the country’s biggest island Monday.
Heavy lifting equipment and search dogs were used as dozens of firefighters, military and civilian rescue teams raced to shift lumps of concrete in the commercial area of Porac, about 110 km north of Manila, where a 6.1 magnitude earthquake damaged several buildings on Monday.
Two people were rescued on Tuesday, adding to seven found alive and four found dead overnight in the mix of rubble and mangled metal that caved in on a ground-floor supermarket in the worst recorded incident.
The Philippines is part of the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, an arc of intense seismic activity that stretches from quake-prone Japan through Southeast Asia and across the Pacific basin.