MANILA- Malacañang called on Filipinos in Mindanao to remain calm after a powerful earthquake struck the southern Philippines on Tuesday as it assured the public that the government is on top of the disaster response.
A magnitude 6.6 earthquake struck off Tulunan, Cotabato on Tuesday, the second time a strong tremor hit the same area in a span of 2 weeks.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, along with local government units, are assessing areas hit by the quake.
"All responsible government agencies and local government units are currently undertaking rapid damage assessment and needs analysis of affected areas and communities in order to properly assess the situation and coordinate rescue and relief operations," Panelo said.
A magnitude 6.3 earthquake initially struck off Tulunan on Oct, 16, killing at least 4 people and spawning strong aftershocks.
It can be considered as the "foreshock" or precursor to Tuesday's "main shock," due to location, Phivolcs senior researcher Erlington Olabere told ABS-CBN News.
The Palace also urged the public to refrain from spreading false information that may cause panic.
"We ask our citizens 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.
"We also urge them to monitor developments through the alerts and bulletins of official government channels," he added.