Pampanga quake toll now 16

A veil of gloom hangs over the earthquake-ravaged Pampanga province as the death toll climbs to 16.

The Pampanga Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) identified the 14 fatalities most of whom from Porac town as: Sophia Jane Arbis, Adrian Ocampo, Juvylin Vera, Hailee Dela Cruz, Manilyn Dela Cruz, Jacob Dela Cruz, Floralita Matamo, Mayann Sales, Sheila Serrano, Aries Serrano, Carlito Abuque, and Jerome Kyle Enriquez, all from Porac town; and Niella Denice Paule and Barin Paule, both of Laucpao, Lubao town. Two more unidentified victims have reportedly died.

The three Dela Cruzes, Matamo and Sales are workers of the Chuzon Supermarket which collapsed during the 6.1 tremor that rocked Pampanga province on Monday afternoon.

The Paules of Lubao town were pronounced dead-on-arrival at the Escolastica Romero District Hospital in Lubao while those victims in Porac were also pronounced dead-on-arrival at the Jose Songco Lapid District Hospital. Enriques died at the Emergency Room of Romana Pangan District Hospital.

Meanwhile, Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Ano has ordered the cancellation of Chuzonn Supermarket business permits. Aside from its branch in Porac town, Chuzon Supermarket has also branches in Apalit town and Sto. Tomas.

The owner of the Chuzon Supermarket, a certain Mr. Chu, is now under the custody of the Philippine National Police. “Si Mr. Chu, he’s under the custody of the Porac Municipal Station. He is under investigation para Makita kung mayroong negligence,” said PNP Chief Police General Oscar Albayalde.

Chu voluntarily accepted the police invitation. “Kung mapatunayan na may pagkukulang sila, mayroon siyang liability,” said Albayalde.

Meanwhile a 3.4 magnitude aftershock was observed around 3:50am on Tuesday in Angeles City.

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