President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Thursday received a commitment from United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to provide humanitarian assistance to the victims of the tremor that rocked a Davao de Oro town on Wednesday evening.
“And let me begin by saying that we are very sorry to learn yesterday that there was an earthquake down in Mindanao,” Austin told President Marcos in their meeting in Malacañang.
“And I’m relieved to hear from my team that the damage was not significant, at least, that’s what we understand thus far, and of course, we have not heard of significant injuries being reported as well, but we know how these things develop,” the senior US official said.
Austin paid a courtesy call on President Marcos on Thursday at the President’s Hall in Malacañan Palace.
“We stand ready to help in any way that we can. And again I think our AID (Agency for International Development) personnel are in the area, and they stand ready to help to provide humanitarian assistance when and where possible. So please don’t hesitate to reach out if there’s a need,” Austin told the President.
The magnitude 6 earthquake, which was tectonic in origin, struck New Bataan in Davao de Oro at 6:44 p.m. on Wednesday.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said aftershocks are expected.