MANILA Naval units are now being deployed to help the residents of quake-battered Itbayat town in Batanes province.
"Units under Naval Forces Northern Luzon (NFNL) stationed in Itbayat collaborated with the local DRRMC (Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council) in the conduct of relief and rescue operations immediately after the earthquake struck," Philippine Navy (PN) spokesperson Captain Jonathan Zata said in a statement forwarded to reporters Monday.
Also, follow-on units such as relief-and -rescue and medical teams as well as command-and-control units, headed by NFNL deputy commander, Captain Karl Decapia, who is also Naval Task Force 11 head, already arrived in Itbayat on Sunday.
Zata added that the PN is also preparing BRP Tarlac (LD-601), one of its two strategic sealift vessels, to help in the ongoing relief operations.
"BRP Tarlac is currently taking on additional relief goods, equipment, and personnel. Itbayat LGU would also need assistance in the restoration efforts later on," he said.
A series of earthquakes hit Itbayat early Saturday, the first one with a magnitude of 5.4, damaging several stone houses and other structures while most of the residents were still asleep.
A magnitude 5.9 earthquake again struck after three hours.
A third earthquake struck at 9:24 a.m. with a magnitude of 5.8 while a weaker 4.9-magnitude tremor was recorded at 6:11 p.m. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency