PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) Oscar Albayalde placed the Eastern Visayas Police Regional Office under full alert to ensure peace and order following a magnitude 6.5 earthquake that hit Samar Island and other Visayas islands.
Albayalde also ordered the activation of the said police office’s disaster incident management task group and directed it to immediately provide assistance to the local disaster risk reduction and management units as well as to other government agencies and civilian rescue groups.
He also emphasized the physical security of all detention cells to ensure that no suspects under custody shall be able to escape.
“Paramount is the safety of the public, the maintenance of security in all affected areas to prevent any looting or disorder, and the clearing of all roads and bridges for speedy search, rescue and relief operations,” said Albayalde.
Albayalde also instructed the Eastern Visayas police to conduct inspection on their facilities and structures for possible damage after the quake.
Meantime, Armed Forces Central Command Commander Noel Clement said no major damage has been reported in the Visayas.
“Only minor cracks of building in some municipalities and other facility. Also minor crack of road along the bridge of Casoroy, San Julian, Eastern Samar. No reported casualty except one minor injury who panicked. There is no power in Borongan yet. In Calbayog one bridge near Gaisano reportedly damaged and is unpassable. Other areas, no report yet,” he said in a text message to reporters.
The quake, with epicenter near San Julian town in Eastern Samar, was felt in other Visayas islands. It struck a day after a magnitude 6.1 tremor that killed 16 in Pampanga and Zambales and damaged 29 structures, including 10 churches and the Clark International Airport passenger terminal building. (Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo/SunStar Philippines)