Loon, Bohol – After spending a night in Loon, one of the earthquake-devastated town of Bohol province, President Benigno Aquino III assured the residents that it is safe to return to their homes.

“The president was very explicit, he wanted to tell the people na itong mga wild and unfounded stories na lulubog ang island of Bohol or that a volcano will emerge and spew lava and ash…wild speculations that have no basis. He told the people here na para ipakita sa inyo na naniniwala siya at dapat paniwalaan yung scientists ng Phivolcs, ng UP School of Geosciences, dito siya matutulog,” Department of Interior and Local Governemnt Secretary Mar Roxas said.

Science Secretary Mario Montejo and Environment Secretary Ramon Paje also said that the people should not fear the aftershocks which would not be in the magnitude of the main earthquake because the fault line that caused it had already released all its energy.

Moreover, a local official disclosed that the president’s overnight stay strengthened the residents’ belief in Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) that Bohol is not in immediate-danger.

“I think it helps psychologically. It contributes to regaining confidence that Bohol is safe,” the official said.

As of the press time, the officials’ main priority is to get the evacuees back to their homes to ensure that they will not get sick due to exposure to various elements and coldness.

Meanwhile, PHIVOLCS has recorded more than 2,000 aftershocks at varying strength after a 7.2 earthquake hit Central Visayas and claimed the lives of nearly 200 people.

According to PHILVOLCS, aftershocks would last for 2-3 more weeks but their intensity should start to subside.

Encarnacion Gerian H. Salazar
AbCom Intern/ Leyte Normal University