Local News: P-Noy Irked by Hoax Tsunami Texts; Orders Arrest of those Perpetrators
Apparently, even the happy mood that is expected on his birthday yesterday could not prevent President Aquino from being irritated by SMS (short message service or “text”) circulating in Negros Oriental that there will be a tsunami coming ahead, after Monday’s 6.9 magnitude quake.
President Benigno Aquino III hands over a check worth P5,700,000 to Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo as financial assistance to the towns and cities adversely affected by Monday’s earthquake.*(John Dx Lapid photo)
Aquino, who visited several areas of Negros Oriental worst hit by the quake yesterday, said he is ordering an investigation on the ‘text scare’ that said there is going to be a big tsunami and another 8.9 magnitude earthquake that will hit the province. The hoax has caused more miseries to the affected ones.
The President said he wants these perpetrators arrested and charged accordingly.
“Nobody can predict an earthquake, kailangan kalmahin natin ang mga tao, hindi nakakatulong ang mga text messages na yan,” he said. He also called on the people to help the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) to spread the correct information.
“Let’s not cause more agony to victims of the earthquake. Instead, we must help them recover from their misery.”
Aquino also ordered the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to immediately repair the destroyed roads and bridges in Negros Oriental and to start designing a new road network in the northern part of the province.
According to a DPWH report, there were 13 bridges destroyed, including the three which are now impassable. DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson said they already mobilized 12 teams from the government and three teams from the private sector to assess and inspect the roads, bridges and public buildings for damages.
Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo had asked the DPWH that detour routes be established immediately, but a DPWH official said it will take two weeks to work for it.
Meanwhile, PHIVOLCS Director Renato Solidum explained to Aquino that there were mini-tsunamis in the quake- affected areas in Negros Oriental.
Solidum said the sea shore in the northern part of the province receded 30 meters and ascended one-meter wave.
But he said it is impossible for a huge tsunami to occur in the northern part of the province because of the islands surrounding it.
The southern part of Negros Oriental, such as the towns of Zamboaguita, Dauin, Siaton, Bayawan City and Basay, are prone to tsunamis, but a huge tsunami could only happen there if the Negros trench moves.
Solidum said that Tsunami Alert Level 2 which they raised last Monday was only for the people to prepare for a tsunami, and not to evacuate.
The earthquake in Negros Oriental was brought by a diagonal fault in the northern part of the province, he said.
Meanwhile, Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Gregorio Domingo said they will locate retailers from affected areas so that it can help in the supply of food, water and other basic commodities.
The agency will try also to convince businessmen to open their shops; if none, the DTI will do a caravan so that supply will be stabilized, he said.
The Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines will continue to deliver water from San Carlos City and Bacolod City to Negros Oriental until water supply in the affected areas will stabilize, reports said.
The Department of Health has advised the victims of earthquake to go back to their houses now in order to avoid diseases from evacuation areas.* (with reports from John Dx Lapid in Negros Oriental)