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HomeFront PageBreaking NewsResidents in Surigao town went panic buying because of solar eclipse

Residents in Surigao town went panic buying because of solar eclipse

By CHRIS V. PANGANIBAN

SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur—Residents in remote areas of Socorro town, Surigao del Norte, were gripped by panic buying following unverified rumors of an impending three-day darkness caused by a solar eclipse on April 8.

Edelito Sangco, chairman of the Socorro Empowered Peoples Cooperative, disclosed to INQUIRER in a phone interview that residents residing far from the town center rushed into panic buying upon hearing “radyo de baktas” (rumors) circulating in the neighborhood regarding the apocalyptic solar eclipse.

The frenzy over the impending solar eclipse started on Sunday amidst escalating gossip, which spread through their communities, leading to the depletion of rice stocks at local sari-sari stores, according to a police report obtained by RPN-DXKS Surigao City.

Sangco became aware of the panic buying spree through reports from store owners who informed him that residents were purchasing sacks of rice out of fear of prolonged darkness during the solar eclipse.

He took to his Facebook page to appeal to English speakers to assist in dispelling rumors, clarifying that there was no truth to the notion of a three-day blackout. Sangco shared news clippings from various media outlets citing PAGASA’s report that the eclipse would not be visible in the Philippines but only in Mexico and North America.

However, Socorro Mayor Riza Rafonselle Taruc-Timcang dismissed reports of panic buying, affirming that the situation remained normal in their area.

“We have ample stocks of rice here since the farmers have recently harvested their rice fields,” the mayor conveyed in a text message.

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