MANILA — President Rodrigo R. Duterte directed all concerned agencies to provide assistance to victims of the magnitudes 5.4 and 5.9 earthquakes that jolted Batanes Saturday morning.
“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.
Eight people have been confirmed dead while 60 others were injured from the two quakes.
The Office of the President is closely monitoring the effects of these earthquakes.
“Responsible instrumentalities of the national government, such as the Office of Civil Defense, are continuously coordinating with distressed local government units, including the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council in Batanes, as relief operations are going on and in full swing,” Panelo said.
“We ask affected constituents to remain calm as we urge them to remain vigilant and cooperative to government response and relief teams,” he added.
Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) Director Renato Solidum earlier said that as a precaution, people are staying in open areas, such as the plaza in Itbayat.
He also warned residents against aftershocks.
A magnitude 3.2 aftershock of the magnitude 5.4 quake was recorded 68 km. southwest of Itbayat at 5:16 a.m.
At 9:24 a.m., a magnitude 5.8 earthquake jolted Basco, Batanes, wherein Intensity IV was felt. This was an aftershock of the magnitude 5.9 quake, according to Phivolcs.
Another aftershock, a magnitude 3.6 earthquake, was recorded 33 km. northeast of Itbayat at 11:08 a.m. Intensity II was reported in Basco. Ma. Cristina Arayata / PNA – northboundasia.com