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NDRRMC to public: Don’t panic during quake

MANILA, Philippines - The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) yesterday reminded the public to remain calm and avoid sharing false information in relation to last Friday’s earthquake.

Thousands of people scampered out of their homes, schools and offices after a strong but deep magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck Luzon.

“Let me remind our people to stop sharing false information on the recent earthquake in Batangas, especially on social media. Always share information coming from official sources only,” NDDRMC executive director and Office of Civil Defense (OCD) administrator Ricardo Jalad said.

The NDRRMC has yet to come up with damage assessment report regarding last Friday’s tremor.

As of yesterday, the general public could only depend on raw information they are getting from people, especially those in Batangas and Cavite, who were directly affected by the strong quake in the absence of the council’s damage report.

NDRRMC spokesperson Mina Marasigan said local disaster officials in Lian and Nasugbu as well as in Batangas City are still gathering reports on possible damage left by the quake.

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The epicenter of the quake was traced southwest of Nasugbu, Batangas.

Marasigan pointed out some areas that have suspended classes following the tremor did not submit any damage assessment report.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) also sees no reason to convene a meeting with local chief executives in the metropolis despite the strong earthquake that struck Metro Manila last Friday.

“If they think the situation is really critical they would really convene but so far after 15 minutes there’s no major problem they saw in Metro Manila. Of course they took precautionary measures, they suspended classes and offices,” MMDA chief of staff Jojo Garcia said.

Last Friday’s quake made thousands of people run into the streets and to open spaces in panic, all apparently thinking that the tremor was the most feared “Big One.”

Bracing for the worst, the NDRRMC has been conducting simultaneous quake drills in a bid to cushion the impact of a major earthquake.  – With Robertzon Ramirez

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