MANILA—Malacañang on Saturday called on residents of Batanes to stay calm and work with government rescuers after two earthquakes struck the northern islands on the same day.
"We ask affected constituents to remain calm as we urge them to remain vigilant and cooperative to government response and relief teams," Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
"President (Rodrigo Duterte) has been briefed on the situation and he directed all agencies to respond and undertake measures to provide assistance to the victims of this force majeure and rehabilitate the damaged properties in the areas."
Government teams airlifted some of the wounded in Itbayat town to the provincial capital town of Basco to receive treatment.
Eight people died and 60 others were injured after the earthquakes in the magnitude-5 range hit Batanes. The first, one registered at 5.4, struck at 4:16 a.m. at a depth of 12 kilometers northeast of Itbayat town.
Three hours later, a second one at magnitude-5.9 hit at about 19 kilometers off Itbayat.
Most houses were visibly damaged, especially those built during the Spanish colonial times.
According to Phivolcs director Renato Solidum, 64 quakes were recorded between the two major jolts.