Philippine president orders continued relief operations in quake-hit regions

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Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

MANILA, Philippines, Nov 19, (Agencies): Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr has directed relief operations and surveillance efforts in the earthquake-stricken areas of Mindanao. Despite being in Hawaii, Marcos virtually convened with government officials on Sunday evening, Nov 19 (Manila time), instructing government agencies to continue relief operations for affected families.

Acknowledging the management of the situation, Marcos stated, “You seem to have it well in hand. Let’s just be vigilant. Let’s keep watching. We must pay attention to aftershocks.” The President emphasized the need to ensure the safety of residents in earthquake-affected areas, cautioning against the spread of “fake news” regarding potential tsunamis. He stressed the importance of remaining vigilant, particularly in the wake of aftershocks.

Addressing concerns about tsunamis, Marcos remarked, “Actually, that’s a valid concern during earthquakes… if there is going to be any movement from the sea, it would have happened already because it is not that far. It is near the epicenter.” He urged caution and advised against evacuating people until the threat subsided to prevent injuries or fatalities.

During his official trip to Honolulu, Marcos pledged to regularly meet with government officials to receive updates on the situation in the affected areas. The meeting included Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro, Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa, Social Welfare Undersecretary Edu Punay, Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Undersecretary Ariel Nepomuceno, and other government officials.

While in Honolulu, Marcos is scheduled to visit the US Indo-Pacific Command Headquarters, receive a capability orientation for the JBPHH/West Philippines Sea Support, attend a barge tour and a wreath-laying ceremony, and participate in a roundtable meeting at the Daniel Inouye Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies.

Meanwhile, Vice President Sara Duterte, serving as the government’s caretaker, visited Sarangani on Sunday to assess the situation and check on the well-being of the affected families.

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