Marcos orders continued assistance, monitoring in quake-hit areas

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 19) —  While on a working visit in Hawaii, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. virtually instructed authorities on Sunday to ensure continued relief efforts and supervision in areas affected by the Friday's magnitude 6.8 earthquake that struck Mindanao.

"Let's just be vigilant. Let's keep watching. We must pay attention to aftershocks because sometimes maraming nagiging casualty sa aftershock [casualties climb in aftershocks]," Marcos said in a virtual meeting with government officials whom he described to be "well in hand."

Disaster response officials are verifying eight reported deaths and 13 reported injuries due to the quake.

Marcos told Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro, Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa, Social Welfare Undersecretary Edu Punay, and Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Undersecretary Ariel Nepomuceno, among other officials to ensure the safety of the residents in quake-hit areas.

The president also said that while a tsunami is "a valid concern" during an earthquake, the possibility of one occuring is nothing but "fake news."

"If there is going to be any movement from the sea, it would have happened already kasi hindi naman malayo [because it’s not far]. Napakalapit ng epicenter [The epicenter is very near]," Marcos said.

"But anyway, about aftershocks, let's just keep watching. Let's keep waiting. Let's not pull our people just yet until mag-subside 'yan para makasiguro tayo na walang ma-injure o mamatay [until it subsides to make sure that nobody is injured or killed]," the chief executive added.

Malacanang said Marcos will regularly meet with government officials to get situational updates in earthquake-stricken areas amid his official trip to Honolulu, Hawaii.

The US state is Marcos' last stop in his six-day trip which began in San Francisco for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit. He is set to visit the Indo Pacific Command.