Two earthquakes with magnitudes of 6.8 and 5.6 and epicenters near the municipality of Cagwait in Surigao del Sur were recorded on Monday.
The magnitude 6.8 quake struck 67 kilometers northeast of Cagwait at 3:49 a.m. It was 1 kilometer deep.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) Director Teresito Bacolcol said this tremor is not an aftershock of the magnitude 7.4 offshore earthquake that jolted Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur late Saturday.
“It’s too big to be an aftershock. It is also farther north from the clustering of the magnitude 7.4 aftershocks,” he said.
Bacolcol, however, said both earthquakes were generated by the movement of the Philippine Trench.
Intensity V was felt in Cagwait, while intensity IV was felt in Tarragona, Davao Oriental; and City of Tandag, Surigao del Sur.
Intensity III, on the other hand, was felt in Iligan City; Cagayan de Oro City; Banaybanay, Lupon and Mati City, Davao Oriental.
Aftershocks are likely, but damage is not expected from the magnitude 6.8 earthquake. Damage starts at intensity VI, based on the Phivolcs’ scale.
Meanwhile, Phivolcs also logged a magnitude 5.6 earthquake 93 km. southeast of Cagwait at 5:43 a.m. It was 10 km. deep.
There were no reported intensities from this earthquake, and both aftershocks and damage are unlikely, Phivolcs said.
After Friday’s magnitude 7.4 earthquake jolted Surigao del Sur, Phivolcs said it has recorded 1,583 aftershocks as of 5 a.m.
Interviewed on TeleRadyo Serbisyo, Bacolcol said the magnitude 7.4 tremor could be likened to a catastrophic quake or the “Big One” that could potentially hit the National Capital Region, based on the study conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority.
Ex-Phivolcs director Renato Solidum Jr., now Department of Science and Technology secretary, said the Surigao del Sur tremor could be compared to the possible Big One that Metro Manila residents must brace for.
Bacolcol, however, clarified that the magnitude 6.8 quake that struck off the coast of Sarangani on Nov. 17 has nothing to do with the magnitude 7.4 quake in Surigao del Sur.
“We have six active trenches and we have 175 active faults so there is always a probability that they can simultaneously occur,” he said.
“We’re part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. That’s why we are expecting many quakes (because) we have many active faults and active volcanoes. And they simultaneously occur,” he added. (Rio)
Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. urged the public to take the government’s quarterly earthquake drills more seriously following the series of earthquakes that battered parts of Mindanao in recent days.
Teodoro also commended the officials of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) for their prompt response and for immediately activating the national response clusters.
The earthquake in Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur claimed the life of a pregnant woman and injured four others. It has also affected 529 families or 2,647 persons.
Meanwhile, power supply has been restored in Davao City, Davao de Oro, Davao Oriental, and Hinatuan.
The OCD is closely coordinating with the National Disaster Risk Reduction Monitoring Council (NDRRMC) and local disaster risk reduction and management offices for the latest updates on the strong Surigao earthquake, which occurred weeks after the magnitude 6.8 quake that rocked Sarangani, Davao Occidental.
The earthquake reportedly resulted in 11 deaths, according to official data from the NDRRMC, and left 37 others injured.
It also caused damage in areas across the Davao Region, Soccsksargen, and other parts of Mindanao.
Last month, OCD administrator, Undersecretary Ariel Nepomuceno directed civil defense officials to enhance earthquake preparedness measures.
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. has directed the agency’s regional and field offices to immediately activate their respective disaster reporting and monitoring system following Saturday night’s tremor.