President Duterte meets with national and local officials in Basco, Batanes on Sunday to discuss the situation in Itbayat after a series of earthquakes hit the town. (PNA photo)

To replace the quake-damaged hospital, President Rodrigo Duterte has directed the construction of a new clinic valued at P40 million in Itbayat, Batanes during a briefing with national and regional officials in Basco in the wake of the series of quakes that rocked Itbayat.

The president said he is “not keen” on repairing the damaged hospital since “you are not also sure of its durability and viability.”

The President conducted an aerial inspection of Itbayat to aassess the damages caused by the earthquakes.  He met local officials to assure affected villagers of enough potable water, relief items, housing kits, and other basic necessities.

A series of earthquakes hit the municipality of Itbayat starting with a 5.4 magnitude tremor at 4:16 a.m. as most of the residents were still asleep.

After three hours, a 5.9-earthquake again struck, another one was felt at 9:24 a.m. with a magnitude of 5.8 and the last was a weaker 4.9-magnitude tremor at 6:11 p.m.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) revealed that 911 families were affected, and resulted in the death of nine people, 63 injured, and 2,963 people evacuated to the town plaza after the tremors.  (Jojo Mangahis)