Earthquake Occurrences in the Philippines

Earthquake Occurences in the Philippines

By Apolinario Villalobos

The Philippines is within the Pacific seismic belt and “ring of fire”. This fact made the archipelago a literally explosive nation in Asia.

In 1937, Manila was rocked by a severe earthquake that destroyed many buildings in the commercial district. In August 2, 1968, another earthquake occurred violently that an apartment building collapsed, killing hundreds of people.

In June 3, 1868, a violent earthquake caused destruction to the Manila Cathedral and hundreds of buildings and homes. The Visayas and Mindanao islands were rocked by a series of destructive earthquakes in April 1, 1955, ranging from Intensity 3 to Intensity 8, and consequently, hundreds of lives were lost in areas around Lake Lanao.

The most destructive earthquake so far, that had the most disastrous aftermath, struck Mindanao in August 17, 1976 with an intensity that marked the gauge at 8. The earthquake caused a massive tidal wave that left 90,000 people homeless, 3,000 dead, and 3,000 missing. Millions of properties were destroyed.

To date, Manila is so much concerned about the biggest occurrence of an earthquake, “The Big One” which based on historical facts the “cycle” indicates that it can occur anytime. Regular earthquake drills are being conducted in public places such as malls and government buildings, as well as, schools and offices. Warnings have already been sounded off to those who are residing right above the fault line. The Phivolcs has also printed guidelines and a map that indicate the coverage and extent of the fault line.