Destructive earthquakes in the Philippines

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014


1948, Panay, 8.1
It damaged the Jaro belfry and other heritage churches in Iloilo province.

Aug. 2, 1968, Casiguran, M7.3
Felt at Intensity 8 in Casiguran town, Aurora; it damaged buildings near Binondo and Escolta in Manila. The six-story Ruby Tower collapsed in Binondo, killing 268. The total toll: 270 dead, 261 injured.

March 17, 1973, Ragay Gulf, M7.0
Calauag town, Quezon was worst-hit. Water main pipes broke; electric and telegraph lines snapped. Damaged roads, railroads and bridges hampered travel to and from the Bicol Region.

Aug. 17, 1976, Moro Gulf, M7.9
Worst-hit were the Cotabato provinces. But the tsunami that struck 700 kilometers of Moro Gulf coastline hit Lanao del Sur and Pagadian City (Zamboanga del Sur) hardest. Homes 500 meters of the Pagadian coast were destroyed. The toll: 4,791 dead, 2,288 missing, 9,928 injured. The tsunami caused 85 percent of the deaths.

Aug. 17, 1983, Laoag, M6.5
At Intensity 7, it is believed to be the second largest earthquake to hit Laoag City after the March 19, 1931 earthquake, which had intensities of 7 to 9. The toll: 16 dead, 47 injured.

Feb. 8, 1990, Bohol, M6.8
Jagna, Duero, Guindulman, Garcia Hernandez and Valencia towns were inundated when sea waves caused Duero’s Alijuan River to flow inland. Some 182 structures collapsed, including two centuries-old churches. The toll: 6 dead, more than 200 injured.

June 14, 1990, Panay, M7.1
Most casualties were in Culasi, Antique, where 15 percent of homes, several commercial buildings, a church and four bridges fell. Aklan, Iloilo and Capiz also suffered property damage. Eight died, 41 were injured.

July 16, 1990, Luzon, M7.8
Worst-hit were Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya and Benguet. Baguio hotels collapsed. Liquefaction hit La Union’s swampy areas. Subsidence occurred in Tarlac and Metro Manila. More than 1,200 died. Property and infrastructure damage was at least P10 billion.

Nov. 15, 1994, Oriental Mindoro, M7.1
A tsunami up to 8.5 meters high moved up to 250 meters inland. It swept a floating power barge inland and wrecked 7,566 homes. Eight bridges were impassable for days. Some 78 people died (49 by drowning); 430 were injured.

March 6, 2002, Sultan Kudarat, M6.8
Felt at Intensity 9 in Palimbang town, Sultan Kudarat; Intensity 8 in Maitum (Sarangani) and Lebak (Sultan Kudarat), it killed 14, injured 144 and damaged homes, roads, bridges, mosques, school buildings, a megadike and other structures.

Feb. 15, 2003, Masbate, M6.2
Felt at Intensity 8 in Sta. Cruz, Palanas and Suba, Dimasalang, it damaged homes, bridges, slope protection grouted ripraps, river control systems and the Masbate-Cataingan Road. In a 1973 Masbate temblor, large fragments of limestone cliffs in Ticao Island fell into the sea.

Feb. 6, 2012, Negros Oriental, M6.9
Worst hit were Tayasan, Jimalalud and La Libertad towns and Guilhungan City. The toll: 50 killed (most by landslides), 66 missing, 112 people injured, P383 million in damage to public infrastructure.

Aug. 31, 2012, Eastern Samar, M7.7
The quake off Guiuan, felt in more than 40 areas in the country, killed one. Bridges and roads in Eastern Samar and Southern Leyte cracked or tilted. A public market in San Isidro, Surigao del Norte was damaged.

Oct. 15, 2013, Bohol, M7.2
It affected six provinces in Central and Western Visayas. The toll: 222 dead, 797 injured, P2.2 billion in damage to public infrastructure. Bohol and Cebu churches were damaged or destroyed.

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(Sources: Phivolcs, Sun.Star archives)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 04, 2014.

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