Will You Ever Be Ready For The Possible 7.2 Magnitude Earthquake?

Natural disasters are similar to burglars at night, and we can’t be a hundred percent ready, but preparation in advance can preserve lives. In line with bringing awareness and readiness to the people, Associate Scientist of Phivolcs raised a warning. The recent earthquakes could be foreshocks to a possible magnitude 7.2 earthquake in Mindanao.


Capable to generate a 7.2 magnitude earthquake 

Authorities said Central Mindanao has several active faults.  The M’lang Fault, Makilala-Malungon Fault, North Columbio Fault, South Columbio Fault, and Cotabato-Sindangan Fault.

Associate Scientist of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), Dr. Toto Bacolcol said, “Based on the length of this fault in Cotabato, it’s capable of generating a 7.2 magnitude earthquake.” 

The forecasted big one in Mindanao might not be as destructive as the one expected in greater Manila. An estimated 34,000 people might die given the fact that Manila is densely populated and full of highrise buildings.


The process called stress transfer

Phivolcs also explained that all faults are unconnected to cause their magnitude. 

But if a fault moves, it loads stress to the other fault. The process is called stress transfer. This is what happened to a fault system in Cotabato, where a certain segment of a fault triggered and disturbed each other. So the series of tremors are interrelated and will continue until December. – Phivolcs.

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Philvocs likewise said the tremors on October 16, 29, and 31 were tectonic in origin. The institution stated they are still solving what activated the devastating quakes that caused 23 deaths because there was no pattern of such calamity in the history of earthquakes in the country.

The big one

The institutions admitted there was no pattern alike in history to the recent disaster in Mindanao, and their warnings for the big one are based on hypotheses


The most devastating earthquake in Philippine history

One of the most catastrophic disasters written in Philippine history was when a magnitude 8.0 jolted Mindanao past midnight on August 17, 1976. A four to five meters high gigantic waves covering 700 kilometers coastline rose after an earthquake resulting in eight thousand deaths, 10,000 were injured, and 90,000 plus people left homeless.

Another 7.5 magnitude earthquake in Mindanao was in the year 1955, where more than 400 people died in Lanao.

Are you earthquake-ready?

Dangers like earthquakes are unpredictable. However, awareness of what to do when it strikes can save lives.

Photo by: Marco Maputol

Things to remember when earthquakes strike unexpectedly

  • Remember to do the Duck, Cover, and Hold if you are inside a building when the earthquake strikes.
  • Stay away from falling objects and debris, ceiling plasters, and light fixtures.
  • When you happen to be outside during the quake, stay away from tall trees, buildings, and electrical posts. Secure yourself in a safe open area.
  • Go directly to the nearest evacuation area for more safety instructions.
  • Check if no one is missing in the family.
  • Always listen to the disaster response team for a tsunami alert, these authorities will advise the people to go to an elevated area immediately when sea-level indicate tsunami signs.
  • Leave the evacuation center only if you’re instructed to do so.
  • Always prioritize the elderly, minors, pregnant women, and persons with disabilities.
  • Bring the injured to the nearest medical facility.

Things to be aware of before an earthquake 

  • Know the location of your community evacuation center, so you know where to go when disaster strikes.
  • Participate in earthquake drills, and choose a meeting place of the family or neighborhood.
  • Don’t forget to set aside an emergency kit and supplies. Help might not be available even after 72 hours.