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Not ‘The Big One’: Earthquakes That Have Caused Much Devastation in PH Since 1968 – Manila Bulletin




• On August 2, 1986, a 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck the city of Kasiguran, Aurora, killing 270 people and injuring 261. A 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit parts of Luzon on July 16, 1990, killing 1,200 people and causing 10 billion pesos in property damage A 7.2 magnitude earthquake shook the island of Bohol, including the Visayas region, in 2013, resulting in 200 killed and $2 billion in property damage.

A destroyed apartment house was caused by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck parts of northwest Luzon on July 27 (Photo courtesy of Abra County)

Filipinos are once again reminded to prepare for “Big One” with the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck parts of northwest Luzon on July 27.

“Big One” is a term associated with the effects of severe earthquakes that may occur not only in the Metro Manila region but also in many areas or provinces across the country that are prone to natural disasters.

Based on the Phivolcs Seismic Intensity Scale (PEIS), an earthquake is considered devastating when “people find it difficult to stand on higher floors and some well-built structures have been slightly damaged.”

Here is a list of the devastating earthquakes that struck the country from 1968 to 2022, compiled from records of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs):

August 2, 1968: Kasiguran earthquake: On August 2, 1986, a 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck the city of Kasiguran, Aurora, at 4:19 a.m. According to Phivolcs, the earthquake killed 270 people and injured 261.

The agency recorded damage to several major buildings in the Binondo and Escolta districts of Manila.

March 17, 1973: Ragai Bay earthquake A 7.0 earthquake shook Calwag, Quezon, on March 17, 1973, destroying 98 homes and partially destroying 270 other buildings. In Sumolong, nearly 70 per cent of school buildings have been damaged. The extent of the natural disaster has reached Lopez, a municipality in the province.

A damaged bridge caused by a 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck parts of northwest Luzon on July 27 (Photo courtesy of Abra County)

August 17, 1976: Morro Bay earthquake: On August 17, 1976, at 12:11 am, an 8.1-magnitude earthquake struck the island of Mindanao, triggering a tsunami that destroyed more than 700 km of the coastal border of Morro Bay in the North Celebes Sea.

The Phivolcs Register said the earthquake mostly affected cities and counties located in Cotabato. At the same time, the tsunami caused the devastation of the provinces bordering the bay, especially on the shores of the city of Bagandian.

“According to surveys conducted during the event, the tsunami was responsible for 85 percent of deaths, 65 percent of injuries, and 95 percent of missing persons,” the report said.

August 17, 1983: Laoag earthquake On September 17, 1983, Ilocos Norte province experienced a 5.3 earthquake at 8:18 pm.

According to the Phivolcs, “a number of concrete buildings have completely collapsed or suffered significant structural damage after rehabilitation” within the district, particularly in Laoag City.

February 10, February 8, 1990: Bohol earthquake: A magnitude 6.8 earthquake rocked the island of Bohol on February 8. 8, 1990, 3:15 p.m. The natural disaster hit Tagbilaran, Duero, Guindelman, García Hernández, Lubbock, Valencia and Anda Northern Mindanao.

According to the agency’s record, six people were killed and 200 wounded. The natural disaster also caused the displacement of about 46,000 people, and 7,000 people became homeless. A total of 154 million pesos of property was destroyed.

June 14, 1990: Panay Earthquake: On June 14, 1990, at 3:41 p.m., a 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck Panay Island, injuring 41 people and causing eight injuries.

July 16, 1990: Luzon earthquake A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck parts of Luzon on July 16, 1990, with a 125 km trance that stretched from Dingalaan, Aurora, to Cayaba, Nueva Vizcaya. The record showed that about 1,200 people died from the natural disaster, and at least 10 billion pesos of buildings, infrastructure and property were damaged.

November 15, 1994: Mindoro earthquake On November 15, 1994, a 7.1-magnitude earthquake occurred in Mindoro Province at 3:15 p.m., resulting in a tsunami, killing 78 people. According to the record, had it not been for the tsunami, the number of victims would have been only 29. It caused significant property damage in coastal communities in northern Mindoro.

March 6, 2002: Palembang earthquake: On March 6, 2002, a 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck Palembang, Sultan Kudarat, at 5:15 am. Defense (obsessive-compulsive disorder).

The earthquake affected 7,684 families in Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and South Cotabato provinces, including four cities and 17 municipalities. The earthquake damaged infrastructure worth $4 million.

February 15, 2003: Masbate earthquake A 6.2-magnitude earthquake shook Masbate County on February 15, 2003 at 7:01 p.m. and Negros and Romblon. Roads were damaged, while buildings, homes and schools had cracks in their structures.

October 15, 2013: Bohol earthquake: On October 15, 2013, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck the island of Bohol, including the Visayas region, at approximately 8:12 am, causing damage to homes, buildings and infrastructure worth 2 billion pesos. Records showed that more than 200 deaths and 600,000 families were affected.

2019: Cotabato earthquakes A series of earthquakes were felt in Cotabato Province on October 16, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit the region at 7:37 pm. On October 29, people felt a 6.6 and 6.1 magnitude earthquake at 9:04 AM and 10:42 AM, respectively. On October 31, a 6.5-magnitude earthquake hit the county at 9:11 a.m.

The landslide was recorded near the central district in Makilala, Kidapawan city, Tulunan in Cotabato and in Magsaysay and Bansalan in Davao del Sur.

Dec 10 Dec 15, 2019: South Davao Earthquake On Sept 15, a 6.9-magnitude earthquake hit Davao del Sur. Apart from the vicinity of the province, strong earthquakes were felt in the provinces and cities of Cotabato, South Cotabato, Sarangani, Maguindanao, Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte, Bukidnon, Lanao del Sur, and Agusan del Sur, among others.

July 27, 2022: Northwest Luzon earthquake A 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck parts of Luzon, including Metro Manila, on July 27 at 8:43 a.m., the Phoenix earthquake bulletin reports.

A destroyed building located in Modet, Dolores, Abra, due to a 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck parts of northwest Luzon last July 27 (Image via Abra County Facebook page)

The quake was mostly felt in Poklok and Manabo in Abra, Phivolks said. Other areas that experienced “very strong” shaking included Vigan, Siena, Pantai and San Esteban. the lawak of Pangasinan; and Baguio City.

As of July 29, the death toll has risen to 10, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) report. On July 30, the agency recorded a total of 228,238 earthquake-affected individuals from 639 villages in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Ilocos (zone 1) and Cagayan Valley (zone 2).


Magnitude 7.0 earthquake jolts parts of Luzon — Phivolcs

Quake death toll rises to 6 – NDRRMC

NDRRMC: Four Abra residents add to North Luzon quake death toll

200K persons affected, 33K out of homes due to N. Luzon earthquake – NDRRMC

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