Palace says gov't on top of Mindanao quake disaster response

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 15 2019 04:53 PM | Updated as of Dec 16 2019 11:31 AM

MANILA (UPDATE) -- Malacañang on Sunday urged Filipinos to remain calm after a magnitude 6.9 earthquake struck the southern island of Mindanao, as it assured the public that the government was on top of disaster response.

"All concerned agencies of the government have been mobilized to respond to the present conditions and provide immediate assistance to those in need," said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo in a statement.

"The Office of the President, meanwhile, requests everyone to remain calm but stay vigilant in anticipation of aftershocks," he added.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles on Monday meanwhile assured the public that President Rodrigo Duterte is monitoring disaster response efforts.

"President Duterte is closely monitoring the progress of ongoing operations to thoroughly evaluate the damage of the quake and all ground units are ordered to work round-the-clock to make sure that everyone is safe and are ready for possible aftershocks," Nograles said.

The government will also provide assistance to families of the earthquake's fatalities, Nograles added. Law enforcers meanwhile have been tasked to ensure the welfare of evacuees, he said.

"Security forces have been deployed to ensure that all those who are in evacuation centers are safe and the properties that they have left behind are adequately protected," he said.

The magnitude 6.9 earthquake struck 6 kilometers northwest of Padada town in Davao del Sur on Sunday afternoon, according to Phivolcs.

This was followed by a magnitude 5.2 tremblor, which hit Matanao town, Davao del Sur at 3:09 p.m., said Phivolcs.

In October, Mindanao was struck by three powerful quakes, all of which were above 6 on the magnitude scale, and left 23 dead and scores injured.