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Clark International Airport heavily damaged by quake

Clark International Airport interior damage

The magnitude 6.1 earthquake that shook parts of Luzon on Monday, April 22, 2019, damaged portions of the Clark International Airport (Contributed photos)

MANILA, Philippines — The Clark International Airport in Pampanga province, which serves as an alternative to Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport, will be closed for 24 hours after being heavily damaged in the wake of a powerful earthquake that rocked Luzon Monday afternoon.

Contributed photographs showed extensive damage in Clark Airport’s passenger departure area, which was strewn with debris alongside baggage-filled trolleys and a partially collapsed ceiling with exposed wiring.

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There were no injuries or causalities reported at the airport, according to Goddes Oliveros-Libiran, spokesman for the Department of Transportation.

“Clark International Airport is closed for 24 hours due to damage in the terminal. Operation is temporarily suspended except for en route flights,” she said, citing Jim Melo, president of state-run Clark International Airport Corp.

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Clark Airport’s control tower also sustained a broken glass panel although the facility’s runway was not damaged by the quake, she added.

Cebu Pacific spokesman Charo Lagamon said 18 Clark flights had been canceled as of this writing, affecting some 3,000 passengers.

“Several flights are about full. It’s peak season,” she said, referring to the busy summer travel period.

Clark Airport was a former United States air base before it was reverted back to the Philippine government in 1991.

The Duterte administration had placed renewed focus on Clark because of congestion issues in Metro Manila and its main gateway, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Last January, the government awarded a 25-year concession to operate and develop Clark Airport to a consortium led by conglomerates JG Summit Holdings and Filinvest Development Corp.

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In Metro Manila, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, suffered no damage.

“Business as usual in Naia,” Libiran said.

/atm

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