MANILA- The government is on top of the disaster response efforts to the powerful earthquake that struck Mindanao Thursday as it is a "top concern" of President Rodrigo Duterte, Malacañang said.
Duterte, who felt the tremor in his Davao City home, is monitoring developments and might visit areas "worst-hit" by the quake, his spokesman Salvador Panelo said.
"The President had directed all agencies and responsible local government units to provide the necessary assistance and immediate relief to those affected," Panelo said.
"The President considers all situations arising from natural disasters that have caused widespread destruction to lives and property a top concern," he added.
A magnitude 6.5 temblor rocked Cotabato and neighboring areas on Thursday morning, fueling more panic and fears as the region reeled from 2 other powerful quakes earlier this month.
The tectonic tremor struck 33 kilometers northeast of Tulunan town, which was also the epicenter of Tuesday's magnitude 6.6 quake and a magnitude 6.3 temblor last Oct. 16.