The collapsed Chuzon Supermarket in Porac, Pampanga.
THE NATIONAL Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said rescue operations at the collapsed Chuzon Supermarket in Porac, Pampanga was ended this weekend with no more signs of life detected since Thursday. “Wala nang rescue (There will be no more rescue operations)… possible retrieval for turn over to LGU (local government unit),” NDRRMC Executive Director Ricardo B. Jalad told BusinessWorld in a phone message on Sunday. Five persons remain missing in Central Luzon and the National Capital Region (NCR) following the magnitude 6.1 earthquake that jolted Luzon last April 22, which left 18 dead and 243 injured. In a separate phone interview, NDRRMC Spokesperson Director Edgar L. Posadas said the job now of the NDRRMC is to “verify” the missing persons. “We are hoping and praying na mahanap ‘yung lima nang buhay (to find the five others alive),” Mr. Posadas said. Upon verification, the operations will be turned over to the LGU. In the earthquake’s aftermath, 868 aftershocks were recorded with 109 plotted and only 10 were felt, ranging from magnitude 1.4 to 4.5, and from intensities 1 to 3. Damage to schools, roads, and bridges in the affected regions of Ilocos, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, and NCR reached almost P506 million. More than P1.6 million worth of assistance from the national and local governments have been provided to those affected in Central Luzon. — Vince Angelo C. Ferreras