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Surigao del Norte: 3-day darkness rumors sent people to buy more rice

By: Chris Panganiban - @inquirerdotnet - Inquirer.net | April 09,2024 - 08:43 AM

Surigao del Norte: 3-day darkness rumors sent people to buy more rice

SAN FRANCISCO, AGUSAN DEL SUR—Some residents of remote villages in Socorro town of Surigao del Norte went into “panic buying” rice after hearing about rumors of three days without sun and a world plunged into total darkness.

Villagers believed the unverified reports about the implending darkness that would last three days supposedly caused by a solar eclipse on April 8.  That is according to Edelito Sangco, chairman of the Socorro Empowered Peoples Cooperative.

Sangco said he learned about the buying spree from store owners who told him that residents from remote areas of Socorro town were buying sacks of rice, fearing they would run out of supply during the prolonged darkness supposedly caused by the solar eclipse.

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He then took to his Facebook page to appeal to “English speaking” people to help dispel the rumors, saying that there was no truth to the three-day blackout.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said that the total eclipse would occur on April 8 but it would not be visible in the Philippines.

Pagasa also dispelled rumors that a three-day darkness would occur, saying it lacked scientific basis.

“(We) would like to inform the general public that the news circulating on the internet about the Earth experiencing three days of darkness due to its passage through Photon Belts on April 8, is a hoax,” Pagasa said in a statement, “Debunking the Theory of the Photon Belt,” posted on its website.

“There is no scientific evidence to support its existence, and its origins are unclear,” it added. “Astronomers have not observed any evidence of a band of high-energy photons surrounding the Milky Way galaxy. 

It is said that when the Earth passes through this belt, it triggers various transformative effects, both physical and spiritual. However, there is no scientific proof to support this theory,” it added.

“…(I)t should be noted that the notion of the Earth’s movement through the Photon Belt producing any substantial transformations to our planet is not substantiated by any known laws of physics. This idea originated within the New Age and metaphysical circles and, as such, lacks scientific evidence and is considered pseudoscientific by the scientific community,” it said.

Socorro Mayor Riza Rafonselle Taruc-Timcang, however, dismissed reports of panic buying, saying the situation remained normal in her town. “We have ample stocks of rice here since the farmers have recently harvested their rice fields,” the mayor said in a text message.

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TAGS: 3 days of darkness rumors, Surigao del Norte

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