NDRRMC warns public of circulating text hoax about ‘the big one’
Another tectonic earthquake with a 4.7 magnitude hit the Philippines at 11:43 a.m. Wednesday, April 24, in the Mindanao region specifically in Banganga, Davao Oriental as reported by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).
The seismology agency said that the epicenter was located 63 kilometers northeast of Banganga. The 11-kilometer earthquake also affected Bislig City, Surigao del Sur at an instrumental intensity I.
NDRRMC, Palace: Beware of hoax and fake news
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on Tuesday night, April 23, warned that the circulating text messages about a forthcoming magnitude 8.0 earthquake are a hoax.
“Napag-alaman ng OCD-NDRRMC na may lumaganap na text messages patungkol sa 8.0 magnitude na lindol (It has come to our attention at the OCD-NDRRMC that there are circulating text messages about a supposedly upcoming 8.0 magnitude earthquake),” it said.
“Nais naming ipahayag na ang mga nasabing text messages ay hoax lamang at walang katotohanan (We’d like to inform the public that those text messages are a hoax),” the disaster agency added as reported by The Philippine Daily Inquirer.
The government agency also announced that the public must trust only the number with the account “NDRRMC” for mobile alerts and warnings. They added that any other phone numbers are not affiliated with the disaster agency.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo also urged the people not to disseminate unverified and false information in social media platforms as such could inflict terror and panic among the general public.
“We ask the public to remain calm but vigilant and we urge them to refrain from spreading disinformation [on] social media that may cause undue alarm, panic and stress to many people,” Panelo said in a statement.
90 unaccounted for in Pampanga
Rescuers continue to search for the 90 people who remained unaccounted for as the four-story building of Chuzon Supermarket in Porac, Pampanga collapsed due to the 6.1 magnitude earthquake in Luzon last Monday, April 22.
“We have no information on how many of them managed to escape or were trapped inside the collapsed structure. We advised the management to tell the survivors to report and be counted,” Pampanga Vice Gov. Dennis Pineda said.
Philippine Red Cross volunteers, Army troops, police and villagers used four cranes, crowbars and sniffer dogs to look for people trapped beneath the rubble of Chuzon Supermarket, some of whom were still yelling for help on Monday night.
Authorities inserted a large orange tube into the rubble to blow oxygen in the hope of helping people pinned there to breathe.
DSWD to assist affected LGUs
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will provide assistance to the local government units (LGUs) so they could address the needs of the families and individuals affected by the earthquake.
In an article from The Manila Bulletin, the social welfare agency has provided a total of P213,689.50 worth of assistance. However, the DSWD Central Office, field offices, and the National Resource Operations Center still have a total of P2,233,678,895.43 yet to be released.
The data from the Disaster Response Management Bureau (DRMB) revealed that 358 families or 1,938 persons from five barangays in Pampanga, Zambales and Bataan were affected by the tectonic disaster.
DRMB assessed that 67 houses were damaged — 54 were totally damaged and 13 were partially damaged. There were 245 families or 1,271 persons still staying in four evacuation centers, while 108 families or 648 individuals are staying with their relatives and friends.