MEDELLIN town in northern Cebu recorded 14 earthquakes in 10 hours on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology’s (Phivolcs) latest earthquake information said.

At 10:48 a.m., Phivolcs reported a magnitude 2.5 earthquake, the 14th incident since 12:43 a.m. Jan. 19, 2022.

Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum said there is an ongoing earthquake swarm offshore of Medellin, Cebu with magnitude 3.6 as the highest-recorded so far.

Solidum said an earthquake swarm is related to the movements of a fault. In the case of Medellin, the nearest inland fault is the Bogo fault.

“Since the earthquake swarm is offshore, it can be an extension of the Bogo fault or a different offshore fault,” Solidum added.

Solidum said in past earthquake swarms in the country, the earthquakes generated were of small magnitude, but larger earthquake events can follow and cannot be discounted.

A recent example was the Oct. 3, 2021, magnitude 5.3 Sablayan, Mindoro earthquake. Although not very large and not damaging, this followed a series of earthquakes on Oct. 2, located in the same area, Solidum explained.

However, there were also several cases of earthquake swarms recently that did not lead to stronger earthquakes, like those in Canaman, Camarines Sur and offshore of Sipalay, Negros Occidental.

Solidum reminded residents and local government units to review their earthquake preparedness plans, how to respond when there is an earthquake and to check the earthquake resilience of their houses or buildings.

The Phivolcs director said residents can check the “How Safe is My House” app on their Android or IOS phone for guidance on house safety and also the Phivolcs website for preparedness materials. (KAL, TPM)