Residents of Pampanga readily presented the damage and hurt in the aftermath of the 6.1-magnitude earthquake on social media as the topic #prayforPampanga became trending in the morning of April 23.
Some users, however, were quick to downplay the incident on social platforms.
Twitter user @kkkiiiitttyyy told off those who were making memes out of the earthquake and shared how she and her neighbors in Pampanga were affected by the powerful tremors.
“Before posting earthquake memes, we in Pampanga just want to let you all know that there were structural damages, people got hurt, there was panic, people cried, some areas still don’t have power,” she said and attached a collage of photos of the damaged properties.
Before posting earthquake memes, we in Pampanga just want to let you all know that there were structural damages, people got hurt, there was panic, people cried, some areas still don't have power.
— Kitty Poleng🥀 (@kkkiiiitttyyy) April 22, 2019
Other users shared that this was their first time to experience a strong earthquake in the province. They appealed to others to pray for one another’s safety as well.
In my 26 years of existence, first time kong maranasan na buong Pampanga ang walang kuryente, andaming nawasak, ang daming nasaktan. And yes, Life and Death is not within our hands.
p.s. the night before of the earthquake, the moon was bloody..
— Always, Sharlene (@warlockprincess) April 22, 2019
Prior to this, several users were making fun of people posting updates on Twitter and Facebook of their situation.
messenger / twitter: pic.twitter.com/k6Dhnu6vTe
— maggs (@_maeggy) April 22, 2019
Based on reports, the death toll from the strong earthquake rose to more than a dozen, several of whom were in Pampanga.
Dozens more are still missing, trapped at the Chuzon Supermarket in the town of Porac, Pampanga that collapsed during the ground shaking.
Meanwhile, the glass panel of an unused tower at the Clark International Airport was also broken based on viral photos.
The airport was immediately closed off from travelers for 24 hours so that airport authorities could assess damage. As of press time, the airport has been declared safe for regular operations.
Old churches in Pampanga were also not spared from the quake. Based on the photos, parts of the Porac Church and the San Agustin Church were torn down.
The magnitude 6.1 quake that shook Luzon
Data from the state seismology showed the epicenter of the 6.1 magnitude earthquake is in Castillejos, Zambales, which is near Pampanga, at 5:11 pm.
In terms of intensity, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology labeled the tremor as “strong” at Intensity 5. Major earthquakes trigger Intensity 7 shaking and above.
Some parts of Luzon also felt the earthquake with less intensity from 5 and below.
Intensity measures the amount of vibration or shaking of a particular place while magnitude is the size of the quake itself.
While Phivolcs assured that the earthquake did not trigger a tsunami, it still warned Filipinos from aftershocks.
It has since recorded hundreds of aftershocks, including a magnitude 3.4 tremor in Angeles City in Pampanga at 3:40 a.m. on Tuesday, April 23.