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Philippine leader tries to reassure quake victims

October 24, 2013

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine president slept overnight in an army tent to reassure still-jittery residents of a central town devastated by an earthquake this month.

President Benigno Aquino III said he felt a mild aftershock before dawn Thursday and had to wear a jacket to fight off the strong breeze in Bohol province’s scenic Loon town. He said the experience brought back memories of his Boy Scout days.

“The breeze was so cool and fresh. I would have wanted to adjust the temperature like in an air-conditioner, but everything was natural,” Aquino said.

A magnitude-7.2 temblor on Oct. 15 killed 198 people, including 185 in Bohol, injured hundreds and damaged thousands of houses and old Roman Catholic churches. Many villagers have refused to return home amid continuing aftershocks and rumors of another quake that can cause a tsunami.

Aquino inspected damaged towns and handed food packs to displaced villagers before flying back to Manila on Thursday.

Update hourly