Motorists were stuck in traffic in Quiapo and the Manila city hall area after a magnitude 5.5 tremor this afternoon.
Both directions of the stretch of P. Casal and Palanca streets virtually became a parking lot as vehicles were stalled moments after the tremor hit around 4:28 p.m.
Students of the San Sebastian College, National Teachers College (NTC), and the Technological Institute of the Philippines evacuated from their respective schools and occupied the side streets, aggravating the situation.
A teacher from the NTC said they were still waiting for instructions from school administrators if they would resume classes, but their main concern was to assure the safety of the students and the faculty.
People milling at the fourth floor of the Isetan Mall along CM Recto Avenue while the police were conducting a raid scampered to safety, creating panic among shoppers. Shoppers at the SM Manila also rushed outside, creating confusion and stalling vehicles on the stretch of Arroceros Street at the back. – Rey Galupo/STAR