Home » Breaking News, Ports/Terminals » Clark airport remains closed; no damage to other sea, air hubs from Luzon quake

Collapsed ceiling at the check-in area of Clark International Airport. Photo courtesy of Clark International Airport Corp communications office.

Ports and air terminals in Luzon, except Clark International Airport (CRK), reported no damages sustained from the 6.1-magnitude earthquake that hit parts of Luzon, including Metro Manila, late afternoon of April 22.

Subic Bay International Terminal Corp. (SBITC) president Roberto Locsin, in a text message to PortCalls, said New Container Terminals (NCT) 1 and 2 in Subic port in Zambales were “fine” and all its staff “ok and resilient as ever.”

Locsin said there were no damages to equipment and berth, and no toppled or damaged containers when the earthquake struck at 5:11 p.m., with its epicenter in Castillejos, Zambales.

He noted that yard operations restarted soon after the temblor, and vessel operations resumed about an hour later after all quay cranes were cleared to operate. As of April 22, there was a vessel alongside and “hardly any delays for incoming customers.”

Locsin added that all roads from the terminal to Tipo Gate through the length of Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway north and south bound are operating normally to all traffic. He said SBITC will continue to give updates to clients of the situation at the port.

It is also business as usual for Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) shortly after cursory checks following the earthquake. Still, SBMA said a thorough inspection will be made on April 23.

Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) assistant general manager for operations Hector Miole, in a text message to PortCalls, said reports from Manila port managers and stakeholders indicated no significant impact or damage inflicted by the earthquake. Batangas and other ports in Luzon also reported no damages as well.

In a separate social media post on April 22, PPA said it is conducting a thorough inspection of all port facilities to ensure safety.

At CRK, meanwhile, operations have been suspended for 24 hours after the facility sustained damages from the earthquake. Domestic and international flights at Clark were put on hold starting 7:40 p.m. of April 22.

Clark International Airport Authority (CIAC) president Jaime Melo, in a statement, said seven persons suffered minor injuries when a part of the terminal building’s ceiling at the check-in lobby collapsed. The injured were immediately brought to a nearby hospital for treatment.

The CIAC crisis team, headed by Melo, said there was no damage to the airport’s runway and taxiway, but the glass panel at the control tower broke. The tower is now not in use and awaiting full damage assessment.

In the meantime, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has brought in a radio and established a temporary tower near the runway to allow landing of incoming aircraft.

In a statement on April 23, CIAC said it is eyeing to resume partial operations at the airport on April 24, after the assessment showed the tower, apron, runways and taxiways are structurally sound.

“The good news is that the tower can be operated, there was no substantial damage. Wala ring problema sa (No problem with) road surface nang (of) airport,” Melo said.

He added that passengers stranded because of the quake will be prioritized once partial operations resume.

The clearing operations and repairs inside the departure area and terminal building are ongoing.

Power has also been fully restored in Clark as of 10:30 pm on April 22, and all roads and bridges have also been assessed and cleared.

In a separate statement on April 23, Bases Conversion and Development Authority reported no damage to the ongoing construction of the new passenger terminal building of CRK.

Air carriers operating at CRK have already canceled flights, and will notify affected passengers via email or text message of the cancellation as well as provide more updates.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade reminded airlines not to charge a rebooking fee.

The transport department will also facilitate issuance of special permits to bus companies that will provide shuttle services to stranded passengers at CRK.

On the other hand, it’s business as usual at other Luzon airports, including Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

All four terminals of NAIA are back to normal operations following a thorough inspection by airport officials to ensure all terminal facilities, as well as the runways, are safe for use after the earthquake.

In a statement, the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) said it ordered its engineering and safety teams to inspect “every nook and cranny of all four airport terminals, as well as runways 06/24 and 13/31, to make sure that everything is safe for use.”

Following the inspection, MIAA said no damage was noted on NAIA’s runways and taxiways. All terminal facilities are also functioning with no reports of downtime.

Further, inspection of possible effects of the earthquake to the airport structures is ongoing, as of posting time, with no adverse findings initially reported.

MIAA general manager Eddie Monreal assured airline passengers that NAIA is operating normally with its runways safe for landings and take-offs.

CAAP said its facilities in Luzon airports, except those at CRK’s, reported no damages.

On the rail side, the Department of Transportation has suspended operations of Metro Manila’s train system—Light Rail Transits 1 and 2, Metro Rail Transit 3, and Philippine National Railways after the earthquake. Operations of all rail systems resumed on April 23. – Roumina Pablo

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