(UPDATE) THE 6.8 magnitude earthquake off southern Mindanao on Friday killed at least seven people, damaged infrastructure, triggered power cuts and sent people fleeing to the streets.President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who is in San Francisco, California, attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit, ordered all concerned government agencies on Saturday to provide immediate assistance to the victims of the earthquake that hit Sarangani, Davao Occidental.Vice President Sara Duterte participated in a meeting with Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin to review the response of different government agencies.Marcos designated Duterte as the country's caretaker and acting president.Meanwhile, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Operations Center (NDRRMOC) is on 'blue alert' to ensure 'close coordination, consolidation, and reporting of all data related to the quake.'Civil Defense Administrator Undersecretary Ariel Nepomuceno said this would ensure prompt coordination among concerned agencies and offices.Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez designated Deputy Majority Leader for Communications and ACT-CIS party-list Rep. Erwin Tulfo to assess the damage and identify resources required for relief and recovery.Assistant Secretary for Strategic Communications Romel Lopez of the Department of Social Welfare and Development said the DSWD will give financial support to the affected families and individuals.Falling debrisFalling debris from the mall in General Santos City crushed a woman to death, Cpt. Ari Noel Cardos told Agence France-Presse.Police also reported the death of a couple pinned under a collapsing concrete wall in General Santos.Another person was killed by a falling steel structure in the municipality of Glan, in Sarangani province, police officer Paul Mesalido told AFP.Firemen dug with shovels as they searched on Saturday for two members of a family feared buried beneath a landslide at a remote mountain village about four hours' drive from Glan, rescuer Daniel Nocos told AFP.'The village chief reported to us that a mother and her child were trapped beneath the rubble,' Nocos said.An excavator had been sent to help in the search but had not yet reached the area because of bad roads and a damaged bridge, he said.The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported a second death in Glan and another in the adjacent Malapatan municipality but gave no details.In neighboring Davao Occidental province, an elderly man was killed by a large rock that rolled down a hill near his house, police officer Patrick Laurente said.Two people were injured in General Santos, while 450 others were treated for panic and breathing difficulties, the disaster agency said.The quake damaged 60 houses in four provinces as well as 32 roads and bridges in the region, rescuers said.Power outages were reported in General Santos and Lebak, Sultan Kudarat.The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the quake was likely generated by the movement of the earth's crust along the Cotabato trench, a long, narrow depression on the seafloor that forms the boundary of one tectonic plate pushing against another.The tectonic quake struck at a depth of 72 kilometers, about 34 kilometers northwest of Sarangani Island, at around 4:14 p.m., the Phivolcs said in an updated advisory.Phivolcs initially reported that the quake was registered at magnitude 7.2.Quakes are frequent in the Philippines, which sits along the Pacific 'Ring of Fire,' an arc of intense seismic as well as volcanic activity that stretches from Japan through Southeast Asia and across the Pacific basin.Public assuranceIn a statement, the President assured the public that the government 'is actively responding to ensure the safety of our citizens' following the quake.'In these challenging times, my commitment to your safety and recovery is unwavering, and I have instructed every relevant government agency to fully contribute to ongoing efforts,' he added.Nepmuceno said aside from the NDRRMOC, the military, police, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and Bureau of Fire Protection have been asked to render duty to support response activities.'Civil Defense officials at the national and regional level are closely monitoring the progress of the operations, coordinating with the local government unit disaster managers,' Nepomuceno added.The NDRRMOC is also validating the reported death of an individual in the village of Butuan in Davao Occidental.It disseminated an Emergency Alert and Warning Message (EAWM) to the provinces of Davao Occidental, Davao del Sur, Sarangani, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, and Cotabato to advise the communities to take precautionary measures.'Keep calm'Vice President Duterte urged the public to stay calm and showed the importance of earthquake drills and other safety measures.On Saturday, Duterte met with the response cluster of the NDRRMC, led by its chairman, Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro.Meanwhile, Rep. Tulfo is expected to arrive in General Santos today, Sunday, where he will be coordinating with the ground commander of Tingog Partylist, as well as meeting with General Santos City Mayor Lorelie Geronimo Pacquiao and Sarangani Gov. Rogelio 'Ruel'' Pacquiao.Romualdez and the Tingog Partylist had allocated P20 million in aid and 5,000 pieces of food packs to two congressional districts affected by the quake, according to Deputy Secretary General Sofonias Gabonada.Gabonada also announced that the two offices will dispatch construction materials to aid affected residents in repairing and rebuilding their homes damaged by the earthquake.In a media forum on Saturday, Lopez said the DSWD was looking into the situation in hard-hit areas through its Regional Field Offices (FOs) and other government organizations to determine the needs of affected individuals, including relatives of those who died or were wounded.Aside from financial assistance, Lopez confirmed with families affected that the DSWD and its FOs will promptly distribute family food packets (FFPs) and non-food items like hygiene kits and sleeping kits, among others.One box of FFP contains 6 kilos of rice, four cans of tuna, four cans of corned beef, two cans of sardines, five sachets of coffee and five sachets of cereal drink, enough to feed a family of five for two days.The DSWD has P1.43 billion in food and non-food items readily available in the agency's disaster response teams nationwide; a P29.16 million Quick Response Fund at the DSWD Central Office; and P14.2 million available at DSWD FOs 10 (Northern Mindanao), 11 (Davao), and 12 (Soccsksargen).