THE Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said there are two active fault lines in Davao City located in Maa and New Carmen, Tugbok, Davao City, thus urging the public not to construct on top of the danger zone and be prepared.
Phivolcs science research specialist Janila Deocampo said on Monday, February 27, that based on their earthquake monitoring mapped in 2013, the earthquake last week was due to the fault line in New Carmen that caused the magnitude 4.6 earthquake.
"The mandate of Phivolcs basically as part of monitoring earthquake and volcanoes is to locate active fault lines so basically if there is active fault line, there is earthquake," Deocampo said.
She cleared that there is no such technology yet or specific methods that could predict an impending earthquake even in countries as advanced as the United States and Japan, although they can have a long term prediction according to scientific data and historical events on a certain place which could recur or if there’s an active fault in the area that is possible to generate such magnitude of earthquake.
"At the moment no country, no scientist can predict earthquakes. By prediction I want to clarify that we mean we can’t predict the exact location, exact time and exact magnitude of an earthquake. But for short term, knowing exactly when, where and what magnitude we don’t have the short term prediction for that,” she said.
Davao Region had already experienced a 7.2 magnitude over a hundred years ago wherein the epicenter is in Compostela Valley that has a mining zone, which also has fault lines and this is possible to occur but no particular time.
“Yes it may happen again historically yes [since] there have been earthquakes in those areas,” she said.
Davao City will possibly experience the same intensity in specific areas if this will hit again because most of the urban centers in the city are situated in a very soft soil which has the tendency to magnify earthquake shaking, she said.
She underscored that Phivolcs is using a method called “trenching” in locating active fault lines and excavate for specific levels in those considered active areas for in-depth study.
With the booming economic activities in Davao City, she advised the investors to ensure that they hire structural engineers who have the knowledge, the right data, the analysis for the structure, and has the integrated earthquake analysis.
“You have to build the right way otherwise if the structure is substandard it will still collapse,” she said.
She warned that the public should not build a specific structure on top of the fault line because it will shatter regardless how well-designed it is and observe the buffer zone which is five meters away in both sides of the fault.