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Manila Trench triggers strong earthquake; no significant damage reported

Magnitude 6.6 earthquake shakes Tagalog and Metro Manila regions


MANILA – Thousands awoke early this morning as a 6.6 magnitude quake shook Oriental Mindoro, Batangas and Cavite provinces and densely-populated National Capital Region at 4:48 A.M.


Science and Technology Undersecretary and currently Phivolcs Director Dr. Renato Solidum said the earthquake was tectonic in origin and was triggered by movement in the Manila Trench, between Calatagan town in Batangas and Mindoro Oriental.


Asked if the event had something to do with the abnormal behaviour of one of the world’s smallest volcanos, Director Solidum said the quake and the 80 other aftershocks are not related.


“It has nothing to do with the feared “Big One” because it would be triggered by movement within the West Valley Fault. However, we have also warned the public of the possible movements within the Manila Trench which would trigger strong earthquakes. Because the epicenter of this morning’s tremor is a bit far from Metro Manila, it was not as strong unlike the shaking which may come from the West Valley Fault,” he said over the government-run program Laging Handa before midday today.


Dr. Solidum explained aside from the strong tremors which may come from the Manila trench, it may also cause tsunami which will impact on the coastlines of Luzon, Mindoro, Palawan and Metro Manila.


“However, this morning’s earthquake occurred 123 kilometers deep and will not trigger tsunami. Had it come from 50 kilometers or less, it may have caused some damage,” he added.


He explained historical data from earthquakes from the Manila Trench, ground shaking has occurred in the Mindoro-Zambales area.


“We could not say when these earthquakes would take place and we should always prepare for any eventuality,” he added. Dr. Solidum said homeowners should see to it their residences are structurally sound.


Speaking of Taal Volcano, he said they already reduced the Alert Level from Alert Level Tree to Alert Level 2 which meant a decrease in its activities including the significant reduction in sulfur-dioxide emission.


“However, this does not mean the threat from Taal Volcano is over. What’s needed is for the people to be prepared for any eventuality, including possible evacuation to safer places,” he emphasized. (Melo M. Acuña)

Science and Technology Undersecretary and PHIVOLCS Director Renato Solidum. (Screen Grab from Laging Handa/July 24,2021)

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