Two earthquakes jolted Davao de Oro province and nearby environs on Tuesday afternoon.
The first temblor occurred at 2:02 p.m. with a magnitude of 5.9, followed by a magnitude 5.6 at 4:47 p.m.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) located the epicenter of the first earthquake at eight kilometers southeast of New Bataan town, while the epicenter of the second temblor was placed at 11 kilometers of the same town.
Phivolcs initially reported the first tremor’s magnitude at 6.2, but later downgraded it to 5.9.
It also later updated the quake’s epicenter from Maragusan town to New Bataan.
The tectonic quake was felt at a “strong” Intensity 5 in Maco, Maragusan, Nabunturan, New Bataan, and Pantukan in Davao de Oro.
The tremor was also felt at a “moderately strong” Intensity 4 in Monkayo, Davao de Oro; Tagum, Davao del Norte; and Bislig, Surigao del Sur. This intensity feels like the passing of a heavy truck that may rattle doors and windows, said Phivolcs.
It said the following intensities were also observed.
Intensity 3 – Santa Cruz, Davao del Sur; City of Davao; City of Mati, Davao Oriental
Intensity 2 – City of Cagayan De Oro; Antipas, Carmen, and City of Kidapawan, Cotabato; Columbio, Sultan Kudarat
Intensity 1 – Aleosan, Cotabato; Esperanza, Lutayan, and President Quirino, Sultan Kudarat
An employee in the Maragusan disaster office told Agence France Presse (AFP) that authorities were checking reports of a landslide on a national highway.
We have not received any reports of other damage or casualties, but we are checking the villages around the town,” he added, declining to give his name.
“Things shook at the office but there was no damage.”
Intensity 4 was felt in Monkayo, Davao de Oro and in Tagum City in Davao del Norte, while Intensity 3 was felt in Davao City, and in San Isidro, Sto. Tomas and Panabo City in Davao del Norte.
The following intensities were also observed in the following areas:
Intensity 2 – Don Marcelino, Davao OccidentalIntensity 1 – Magpet, Cotabato
Phivolcs also said the tremor can cause damages and spawn aftershocks.
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.
Most are too weak to be felt by humans, but strong and destructive ones come at random with no technology available to predict when and where they will happen.
The nation’s civil defense office regularly holds drills simulating earthquake scenarios along active fault lines.
The last major quake was in October in the northern Philippines.
The 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit the mountain town of Dolores in Abra province, injuring several people, damaging buildings and cutting power to most of the region.
A 7.0-magnitude quake in mountainous Abra last July triggered landslides and ground fissures, killing 11 people and injuring several hundreds.