Twin earthquakes rock Metro Manila, nearby provinces
MANILA, Philippines (7th UPDATE) – Twin earthquakes rocked Metro Manila and nearby provinces on Saturday afternoon, April 8.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said a magnitude 5.6 quake first struck at 3:07 pm, off Mabini, Batangas. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) put it at 5.7.
The first quake was then followed by a magnitude 6.0 tremor at 3:09 pm, also in the same area, according to Phivolcs. USGS earlier said this tremor had a magnitude of 5.9.
The recorded intensities for the two quakes are exactly the same.
- Intensity VII – Mabini, Batangas
- Intensity VI – Calatagan, Nasugbu, and Tingloy, Batangas
- Intensity V – Batangas City, Sto Tomas, and Lemery, Batangas; Tagaytay City
- Intensity IV – Dasmariñas, Cavite: Lucena City; Pateros City
- Intensity III – Makati City; Pasay City; Quezon City; Muntinlupa City; Malabon City; Mandaluyong City; Bacoor, Cavite
- Intensity II – Daet, Camarines Norte
Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum told Rappler in a phone interview that there is nothing unusual about earthquakes occurring just a minute apart in the same area.
Solidum added that the twin tremors are related to the magnitude 5.5 earthquake that hit Batangas last Tuesday, April 4. There were no casualties during the Tuesday quake but structures, including the Batangas Provincial Capitol building, were damaged.
Aftershocks have also begun following Saturday's twin tremors, including a magnitude 4.1 quake that hit 3:29 pm and a magnitude 4.7 quake at 4:36 pm.
In an interview with dzMM, Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas said more people in the province feared Saturday's quakes as these were stronger than the one they experienced last Tuesday.
He added that Batangas City has no power supply. (READ: Batangas residents flee for safety after twin quakes)
"Mas malakas talaga. At ngayon, walang kuryente sa Batangas City. Noon hindi. Mas marami ngayon ang medyo kinakabahan pa," Mandanas said.
(It's really stronger. And now, there's no electricity in Batangas City. This didn't happen the last time. More people are scared now.)
Mandanas said based on initial reports, there were no reported injuries in his province as of early Saturday afternoon. (LOOK: IN PHOTOS: #QuakePH causes panic, damage in Batangas resort)
Meanwhile, the quakes prompted a few schools to suspend classes for Saturday.
Don't share unverified info
Malacañang urged the public to "stay calm and yet remain vigilant and alert" following the quakes.
"Let us not forward information from unverified sources that may cause undue alarm. Disaster officials are assessing the situation and will be giving updates to the public as more information… becomes available," Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement on Saturday.
Solidum also corrected wrong reports circulating online that have caused panic in areas hit by the strong quakes on Saturday. (READ: Batangas residents flee to safety after twin quakes)
Meanwhile, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said in a statement that it is in close coordination with its field offices and concerned local governments for "possible augmentation support and assistance" following the quakes.
"Currently, the Department is now under blue alert status. However, there is already a recommendation to elevate the alert status to red because of the gravity of the impact of the earthquake in several [structures] and facilities, including hospitals such as the Batangas Medical Center and Taal Hospital," the DSWD said.
It added that it sent on Saturday 50 tents from the DSWD National Resource Operations Center (NROC) for distribution to the families who conducted preemptive evacuation, and bottles of water and blankets. – Rappler.com