Latin America

China gives P10-M donation to Batanes earthquake victims

Sofia Tomacruz

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The Chinese government expresses its 'deepest sympathies and condolences' to the families affected by the twin earthquakes

HOMES LOST. Residents demolish their houses destroyed by a series of earthquakes in Itbayat Island, Batanes on July 29, 2019. Photo by Lito Borras/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – China has donated P10 million for the victims of the  twin earthquakes that rocked Batanes on Saturday, July 27.

The Chinese Embassy in Manila made the announcement in a statement on Wednesday, July 31, as it expressed its “deepest sympathies and condolences” to families who either lost members or had been displaced by the tremors.

According to government responders, 9 people died due to magnitude 5.4 earthquake and hours later, a stronger magnitude 5.9 earthquake that both struck east of Itbayat.

Homes and heritage sites were also damaged by tremors, prompting Itbayat residents to temporarily live in evacuation centers. (READ: An Ivatan grandmother’s struggle through tremors and trauma)

China expressed confidence that “under the strong leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte and the government of the Philippines, the Philippine people will overcome the disaster and rebuild their homeland as soon as possible.”

Bilateral relations between Manila and Beijing have seen a turnaround under Duterte, who downplayed a decades-long sea dispute in exchange for loans and grants from the Chinese.

Duterte earlier vowed to give P40 million to the province during a visit to Batanes on Sunday, July 28. (READ: #ReliefPH: How you can help those affected by the Batanes earthquakes–

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Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers defense and foreign affairs. Follow her on Twitter via @sofiatomacruz.