Palace vows aid to Mindanao quake victims

MANILA MalacaAang on Thursday pledged to extend help to victims of the deadly earthquake that rocked parts of central Mindanao on Wednesday night, killing at least four people and injuring 27 others.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the Palace would direct all concerned government agencies to render immediate assistance to quake victims.

"The Office of the President has already tasked all concerned agencies of the government to mobilize, respond and provide immediate assistance to those in need, as well as to study plans on how to rehabilitate the damaged areas," Panelo said in a statement.

A magnitude 6.3 earthquake rattled North Cotabato on Wednesday night and was felt in nearby provinces.

The strong quake caused serious damage to several buildings and infrastructures in the affected areas.

Local chief executives from quake-stricken areas in Mindanao were prompted to order the suspension of classes on Thursday.

In a press conference, Panelo said the Palace was "saddened" by the unfortunate incident.

He assured the victims that the government would exhaust all efforts to "alleviate (their) suffering."

"We were sad to hear of the earthquake and the outcome to the victims of the earthquake. We would like to express our sympathies," he said.

No tsunami was expected after the intense shaking in the southern country, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) ensured Wednesday.

The Philippines lies along the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire" where many of the earthquakes and volcanic activities occur.

Panelo said the Phivolcs was closely monitoring the situation in areas jolted by the powerful quake.

He also raised the possibility that President Rodrigo Duterte might conduct a situation briefing on the effects of the earthquake with government authorities.

"Palagi naman siyang bumibisita kapag may ganyang mga kalamidad (He always visits areas hit by calamities)," Panelo said.

In the meantime, he advised the public to avoid false information about the earthquake.

"We ask the public to remain calm but vigilant and we urge them to refrain from spreading disinformation that may cause undue alarm, panic, and stress to many people," Panelo said. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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