LEGAZPI CITY: Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) Director Renato Solidum warned local government officials in Bicol to brace for possible earthquakes hitting the region in the future, citing the fact that Bicol is near the area where the Philippine trench is colliding with the Philippine Sea.
Phivolcs reported a magnitude 6.2 quake in the island province of Catanduanes late Monday evening. No one was reported hurt in the incident. The disaster management offices have not also received any reports of damage to properties.
In issuing the warning, Solidum said the Philippine Trench, which is also regarded by scientists as the Earth’s deepest point, is a result of a collision of earth plates. He said the trench is active and can trigger a quake of up to magnitude 8 in the future.
Solidum, who was interviewed over Bombo Radyo, also warned the officials that after Monday’s quake, aftershocks can still be expected.
In 2013, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Bohol and Cebu in Central Visayas, and was considered the deadliest earthquake in the Philippines after 23 years from the 1990 Baguio City quake, which killed more than 1,000 people.
The Philippines Trench, also called as Philippine Deep, Mindanao Trench, Mindanao Deep, stretches approximately 1,320 kilometers from the northeast tip of Luzon up to the Indonesian Island of Malacca Halmahera. The trench is also known to have a width of about 30 km.
On Monday, Phivolcs said the earthquake was also felt in Sorsogon City, Legazpi City, Irosin and Prieto Diaz in the Bicol area. It also reported an intensity 2 quake in Naga City, Masbate City and Quezon City; and intensity 1 in Manila.
It added that the quake had a tectonic origin and a depth of one kilometer. The epicenter of the quake was traced northeast of Virac, Catanduanes near the East Luzon Trench.
Raffy Alejandro, Office of the Civil Defense Bicol and Bicol Regional Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Council chairman, said no damages were reported from the island province of Catanduanes as of the presstime.
On Tuesday morning, a magnitude 3.7 aftershock was also felt at 5:20 a.m. in Virac, Catanduanes.