ANGELES City Mayor Carmelo Lazatin Jr. said the reported earthquake activities near Mt. Pinatubo are no cause for alarm, as he instructed the Angeles City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (ACDRRMO) to prepare a contingency plan for any eventualities.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) echoed Lazatin's views, assuring the public that Mt. Pinatubo Volcano, which last erupted on June 15, 1991, remains at Alert Level 0 and currently in calm condition amid the series of earthquakes.
Lazatin has already instructed ACDRRMO head Rudy Simeon to coordinate with Phivolcs on the activities of the volcano.
Since Wednesday last week, the Pinatubo Volcano Network (PVN) and the Philippine Seismic Network (PSN) have detected a total of 826 light earthquakes east-northeast of Mt. Pinatubo, notably in the vicinities of Mabalacat City, which was swamped by thick volcanic sediments called lahar in the past.
The strongest of these earthquakes reportedly occurred on Monday, January 25, 2021, at depths of 15 to 28 kilometers. The earthquakes were recorded between 1 and 2.5 magnitude and generated along a segment of the Sacobia Lineament, a fault that was last active during the post-eruption period of 1991.
"We are ready in terms of logistics in the event of a natural disaster. Ang Mt. Pinatubo eruption hindi bago sa atin. Mas handa tayo ngayon," according to Lazatin.
"We have enough stockpile of food," said Lazatin, as he instructed the ACCRRMO to create a natural disaster contingency plan, including evacuation plan and food assistance plan.
Phivolcs said these developments "serve to remind us once again that several faults occur around the volcano and can generate earthquake activity that can be harmless but that can also sometimes be damaging."
On April 22, 2019, a magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck the southern foot slopes of Mt. Pinatubo, causing fatalities in Porac town and substantial damage to buildings, roads and other structures.
Phivolcs said it is currently monitoring the volcano with ongoing upgrades and upcoming geochemical surveys of the Pinatubo crater lake.
Any new development will be relayed immediately to the public, it added. (PR)