Phivolcs chief: No pattern to location of earthquakes

MANILA—Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) Director Renato Solidum said the series of earthquakes that struck Luzon and the Visayas in the last two days do not indicate a pattern.

Neither do these lead to the possibility of stronger earthquakes, Solidum said on Wednesday, April 24.

“The earthquakes that have struck different parts of the Philippines, particularly those that occurred within 24 hours of each other, are not related. These occurred because of movement in different faults. You cannot use this as basis for saying that a stronger earthquake will occur,” Solidum said in Tagalog.

“There is no pattern to this because there are so many active faults and trenches. It is not surprising that numerous earthquakes occur in a day or that these occur one after the other,” he explained.

A magnitude 6.1 earthquake rocked Central Luzon and Metro Manila at 5:11 p.m. Monday, April 22, killing at least 16 and damaging some churches and vital infrastructure facilities.

About 20 hours later, a magnitude 6.5 quake struck near San Julian, Eastern Samar at 1:37 p.m. Tuesday, April 23. It was felt in other Visayas islands, including Cebu.

As of 7 p.m. Tuesday, Eastern Visayas police said 10 people were injured. No fatalities were reported. There was also minor damage to houses and infrastructure.

Solidum said the eastern Samar earthquake was caused by the downward movement of Philippine sea plates along the Philippine Trench, which moved quickly from offshore in Bicol to offshore Davao Oriental.

Solidum said the Phivolcs recorded 53 aftershocks of the Samar earthquake.

Around 500 aftershocks to the Zambales quake were recorded, with magnitude of up to 3.4.

That quake was felt strongly in Metro Manila and caused the 24-hour shutdown of the Clark International Airport and suspension of MRT and LRT operations.

Meanwhile, a Department of Energy (DOE) official said the power supply in the Visayas islands is stable as it was not affected by the earthquake on Tuesday.

DOE Visayas officer-in-charge Jose Rey Maleza said not a single power plant was damaged by the magnitude 6.5 earthquake that struck Eastern Samar at 1:37 p.m. (TPM of SunStar Philippines, With HBL of SuperBalita Cebu/KAL)


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