Philippine rescuers were scrambling Tuesday to reach dozens of people feared buried under a building near Manila that collapsed a day earlier in a powerful earthquake, as the death toll climbed to 11.
The 6.3 magnitude quake struck northwest of the capital on Monday, scientists from the US Geological Survey said, heavily damaging an airport and sending terrified locals fleeing swaying high-rises.
The worst of the damage was in the province of Pampanga, which was the site of most of the 11 fatalities, disaster officials said. Dozens of others were injured by falling rubble, including in Manila.
The toll could rise as crews fanned out across the region to assess damage in isolated hamlets that lost power and communications in one of the area’s strongest tremors in years.
Over 400 aftershocks have been registered since the initial quake, with some as strong as 3.4 magnitude, Philippine seismologists said.
Scores of rescuers in the town of Porac were wielding cranes and jackhammers to peel back the pancaked concrete structure of a four-storey market building where up to 30 people were unaccounted for.
“They (rescuers) still hear at least one person who is still alive,” Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda told journalists. “This person is buried under concrete slabs.”
The quake also damaged several centuries-old churches which were crowded with worshippers in recent days as the majority-Catholic Philippines marked the Easter holiday.
– ‘Really swaying’ –
Father Roland Moraleja, who is based in Porac, said the 18th century belfry of Saint Catherine of Alexandria church collapsed in the quake.
“It was the only part left from the old church,” he told AFP. “The historical value is now gone, but we are hopeful that it will rise again.”
High-rise buildings in the capital swayed after the tremor struck Monday evening, leaving some with large cracks in their walls.
Thousands of travellers were stranded after aviation authorities shut down the secondary Clark Airport, which is located on the site of the former US military installation that lies about an hour’s drive north of the capital.
It was still closed on Tuesday as officials assessed the heavy damage to the terminal building and some cracking on the air traffic control tower.
The quake was centred on the town of Castillejos, about 100 kilometres (62 miles) northwest of Manila, local geologists said.
Dani Justo, a martial arts instructor, told AFP she was at her southern Manila home when the quake struck.
“The clothes hanging on our line were really swaying. My shih tzu (dog) dropped flat on the ground,” she added.
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.
GOP will be ‘aided and abetted’ by Russian bots and trolls defending Trump: Former FBI counter-intel chief
The former assistant director for counterintelligence at the Federal Bureau of Investigation warned Americans to "hunker down" because Russian intelligence will be repeating Republican talking points.
Frank Figliuzzi was interviewed Thursday by MSNBC's Brian Williams on "The Last Word."
"Frank, Fiona Hill -- who richly deserves it -- has been awarded front page status tomorrow morning on the front page of The New York Times, and I imagine newspapers and websites across this country," Williams noted.
"It was extraordinary today when she -- in effect, begged -- asked, certainly, members of the committee to stop supplying Russian talking points, to stop advancing Russian propaganda in the Congress of the United States," he continued.
Trump has committed 6 impeachable offenses: Harvard Law’s Laurence Tribe says ‘the evidence is all there’
Constitutional law expert Laurence Tribe broke down the six impeachable offenses President Donald Trump has committed during a Thursday appearance on MSNBC's "The Last Word" with Lawrence O'Donnell.
Tribe has argued 36 cases before the United States Supreme Court and taught at Harvard Law for 50 years. He co-authored the 2018 book To End a Presidency: The Power of Impeachment with Joshua Matz.
"Everyone was in the loop, it was no secret. That was the testimony from Ambassador Gordon Sondland yesterday as he implicated the president, Secretary of State, White House chief of staff, and former National Security Advisor John Bolton and other administration officials in the plot to bribe the president of Ukraine to publicly launch an investigation into Joe Biden in exchange for U.S. military aid to Ukraine that was authorized by Congress and that the president was withholding," O'Donnell reported.
Rachel Maddow breaks down how public opinion is catching up with the facts of Trump’s impeachment
MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow on Thursday broke down how the details from the televised impeachment hearings are being reported in local newspapers.
The host read the headlines from multiple newspapers following the damning testimony by Ambassador Gordon Sondland.
The Los Angels Times headlined, "Sonland implicates president." "Envoy says Trump directed effort," was The Wall Street Journal headline.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch headlined, "'Everyone was in the loop. It was no secret': Defiant Sondland says he followed Trump's orders."
"Trump directed pressure on Ukraine, ambassador says," headlined The Kansas City Star.