THE Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) recorded a 6.2-magnitude earthquake on Thursday, with the tremor being felt as far as Metro Manila.
In an advisory posted on its Twitter and Facebook handles, Phivolcs reported that the earthquake happened around 10:19 a.m. near Calatagan in Batangas,, about three hours’ drive from Manila.
The depth of focus is 103 kilometers and the quake is tectonic in origin.
Intensity 4 has also been reported in Quezon City, according to the Phivolcs.
Phivolcs chief Teresito “Toto” Bacolcol said both aftershocks and damage to infrastructure are expected from the latest tremor.
Calatagan police chief Emil Mendoza said he and his staff rushed outside following the tremor, which was also felt over the country’s heavily populated heartland, including Manila.
“It was a bit strong. We had to run outside,” Mendoza told Agence France-Presse.
While there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage, disaster authorities had been deployed to assess the earthquake’s impact, Mendoza said.
Calatagan disaster officer Ronald Torres said the quake lasted between 30 seconds and a minute.
Phivolcs warned of aftershocks but ruled out tsunami waves due to the tremor’s depth.
He said there is no tsunami threat from the latest earthquake as it was deep.
Phivolcs said Intensity 4 was felt by residents in Manila, Quezon City, Mandaluyong City and Valenzuela City, Metro Manila; Malolos, Bulacan; Batangas City, Ibaan, Lemery, Nasugbu and Talisay, Batangas; Dasmariñas City and Tagaytay City, Cavite; and Tanay, Rizal.
Intensity 3 was felt in Pateros, Las Pinas City, Makati City, Marikina City, Paranaque City and Pasig City, Metro Manila; Obando, Bulacan; Laurel, Batangas; Bacolod City and Imus City, Cavite; San Pablo City and San Pedro City, Laguna; and San Mateo, Rizal.
Meanwhile, Intensity 2 was felt by residents in Caloocan City, San Juan City and Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila; San Fernando, La Union; Alaminos City and Bolinao, Pangasinan; Sta. Maria Bulacan; and Bamban, Tarlac while Intensity 1 in the City of San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, the agency said.
Phivolcs said Instrumental Intensity 4 was recorded in Abucay, Bataan; Lemery, Batangas; Malolos City and San Ildefonso, Bulacan; Magallanes, Tagaytay City, Cavite; San Jose, Occidental Mindoro; Calapan City and Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro; and San Antonio, Olongapo City and Cabangan, Zambales.
Intensity 3 in Dinalupihan, Mariveles, Bataan; Batangas City, Sta. Teresita, Cuenca, Bauan, Talisay, Laurel and San Luis, Batangas; Paombong, Guiguinto, Marilao and Pulilan, Bulacan; Bacoor City, Carmona, Ternate and Naic, Cavite; Las Pinas, Malabon City and Pasig City, Metro Manila; Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija; Abra De Ilog, Occidental Mindoro; Roxas, Oriental Mindoro; Guagua, Pampanga; Mauban, Quezon; Tanay, Rizal; and San Marcelino, Subic, Zambales.
Intensity 2 in Baler, Aurora; Rosario and Malvar, Batangas; Angat, Obando, Norzagaray and Santa Maria, Bulacan; Calamba and San Pablo, Laguna; San Juan City, Pasay and Quezon City, Metro Manila; San Antonio, Nueva Ecija; Victoria, Oriental Mindoro; San Fernando, Pampanga; Bani and Infanta, Pangasinan; Tayabas, Infanta, Lopez, Dolores and Alabat, Quezon; and Bamban, Tarlac.
Intensity 1 was recorded in Paranaque City, Metro Manila; San Jose, Gabaldon and Bongabon, Nueva Ecija; Magalang, Pampanga; Lingayen, Bolinao and Urdaneta, Pangasinan; Mulanay, Lucena City and Gumaca, Quezon; Taytay, Antipolo and Angono, Rial; and Santa Ignacia, Ramos and Tarlac City, Tarlac.
Bacolcol said the Calatagan tremor has nothing to do with the Taal Volcano, located between the towns of Talisay and San Nicolas, which is currently under Alert Level 1.
Aftershocks and damage to property are expected from the latest earthquake, he said.
The earthquake sent people rushing out of buildings in the capital.
Runways and taxiways at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) were temporarily closed to inspect for any damage to the pavement, according to the country’s transportation department.
Operation of the capital’s metro system was also halted while tracks were checked for possible damage.
Railway services were affected by the earthquake. A stop for safety was put in place at the LRT-1 line at around 10:30 a.m. from the Baclaran to Roosevelt stations.
“Our team has already completed the safety inspection of LRT-1 facilities and tracks. No damage was reported at the stations. As of 11:10 a.m, we have resumed our full operations from Baclaran to Roosevelt,” LRT-1 private operator Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC) told The Manila Times.
LRT-2 was put on Code Yellow as all trains were stopped on their tracks, according to LRTA Administrator Hernando Cabrera.
The operations of the Philippine National Railways, meanwhile, were halted as inspection of the tracks were immediately conducted, said PNR General Manager Jeremy Regino
In an advisory, the Metro Rail Transit -3 (MRT-3) management said the earthquake was felt particularly at the North Avenue station.
Jorjette B. Aquino, assistant secretary for Railways at MRT-3and officer-in-charge ensured that no passengers were injured.
Images on social media verified by AFP showed a crane truck at a Manila port as it swayed from the force of the tremor.
Diego Mariano, information officer at the civil defense office, said authorities were still assessing the impact of the quake.
“As of now, no major damage or casualties as of reporting time. Assessment still ongoing,” Mariano told reporters in a message.
Quakes are a daily occurrence in the Philippines, which sits along the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of intense seismic as well as volcanic activity that stretches from Japan through Southeast Asia and across the Pacific basin.
In October 2013, a magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck Bohol Island in the central Philippines, triggering landslides and killing more than 200 people.
Old churches in the birthplace of Catholicism in the Philippines were badly damaged. Nearly 400,000 were displaced and tens of thousands of houses were damaged due to the quake.
In 1990, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake in the northern Philippines created a ground rupture that stretched over a hundred kilometres, causing severe damage and killing more than 1,200 people.
— Aric John Sy Cua and Arlie O. Calalo with reports from Franco Baroña Alexander Furio, Agence-France-Presse
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