Duterte orders speedy assistance to victims of Batanes quake

Map of Negros Oriental (Phivolcs)
Map of Negros Oriental (Phivolcs)

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has directed all concerned government agencies to assist the victims of twin earthquakes that rocked Itbayat town in Batanes province early Saturday morning, July 27.

"The President has been briefed on the situation and he directed all agencies to respond and undertake measures to provide assistance to the victims of this force majeure and rehabilitate the damaged properties in the areas," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

"The Office of the President is closely monitoring the after effects of the twin earthquakes, reportedly possessing respective magnitudes of 5.4 and 5.9, which struck Itbayat and Basco, Batanes early this morning," he added.

Eight people were reportedly confirmed dead while 60 others were hurt.

Itbayat, Batanes was first struck by a magnitude 5.4 earthquake at 4:16 a.m., Saturday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology reported.

It was followed by a deadly 5.9 magnitude tremor at 7:37 a.m., causing damages to homes and other buildings in the northernmost municipality.

Panelo asked the quake victims to stay calm and cooperate with the responding government agencies.

He said the Office of the Civil Defense is already coordinating with the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council in Batanes to ensure that relief operations are "going on and in full swing."

"We ask affected constituents to remain calm as we urge them to remain vigilant and cooperative to government response and relief teams," he said.

"With risk reduction measures at place, the government has prepared itself to react quickly to disaster occurrences like earthquakes while we commit our best to saving maximum lives and properties during such situations and bringing normalcy back in the soonest possible time," Panelo added.


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