The Surigao Earthquake is A Big Warning to Metro Manila: Right Time Now to Prepare for the ‘Big One’

The Surigao earthquake was recorded by PHIVOLCS on February 10, 2017 at 10:03:42 PM.

Based on the agency, the epicenter of the 6.7 magnitude 16 kilometers, north west of Surigao City.

The earthquake was tectonic of origin in which the most affected area in terms of PHIVOLCS Earthquake Intensity Scale (PEIS) was Surigao City which experienced an intensity of Intensity VII (Destructive).

Among the structures damaged by the quake were 12 schools, six bridges and some shopping malls, many of which had visible cracks, shattered glass windows and damaged canopies. The quake may have busted tap water pipes, limiting supply in Surigao city, which lies about 700 kilometers (430 miles) southeast of Manila, and three outlying towns.

What causes the earthquake?

Earthquakes are usually caused when rock underground suddenly breaks along a fault.

This sudden release of energy causes the seismic waves that make the ground shake.

When two blocks of rock or two plates are rubbing against each other, they stick a little and when the rocks break, the earthquake occurs.

After Surigao has been helped back on its feet, a call should also be made for the vastly bigger area of Metro Manila, which, experts have been warning for some time now.

Metro Manila might be due for the Big One. The West Valley Fault, a 100-kilometer fault that runs through six cities in the metro and nearby provinces, is said to move every 400-500 years.

With the last fault quake recorded in 1658, or 357 years ago, ‘it may be time soon for another major movement in the fault.’

The Metropolitan Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study paints a staggering scenario once, say, a 7.2-magnitude temblor hits Metro Manila:

‘It may result in the collapse of 170,000 residential houses and the death of 34,000 people.

Another 114,000 individuals may be injured while 340,000 houses may be partly damaged.”

The Surigao earthquake is really a reminder and now is the time for an utmost preparation because the ‘Big One’ may come anytime soon.

What do you do if there is an earthquake?

If you are inside a building:
Stay where you are until the shaking stops.
Drop down onto your hands and knees so the earthquake doesn’t knock you down.
Cover your head and neck with your arms to protect yourself from falling debris.
Hold on to any sturdy covering so you can move with it until the shaking stops.