earthquakes in the Philippines

FACT CHECK: No prediction of imminent earthquake to hit Metro Manila

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FACT CHECK: No prediction of imminent earthquake to hit Metro Manila
A supposed mystic claims this looming quake is not the ‘Big One,’ but scientists have repeatedly said that it is impossible to predict exactly when and where earthquakes will occur

Claim: Self-proclaimed mystic Rudy Baldwin claims a strong earthquake, different from what experts call the “Big One,” is set to hit Luzon, particularly Metro Manila.

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The claim was made through Baldwin’s Facebook page, which has 4.3 million followers. The post has garnered 31,000 reactions, 4,700 comments, and 11,000 shares as of writing. 

The post, dated June 20, 2024, reads: “Manila o Metro Manila vision. Nakita ko na me parating na lindol at ito ay me kalakasan dahil ang ibang bahay o gusali ay gumuho. Me kalakasan ito ngunit hindi pa ito ang tinawag na the Big One. Ngunit ito ay maramdaman halos lahat ng mga taga Luzon. Huwag pairalin ang panic o kaba.”

(Manila or Metro Manila vision. I saw an earthquake coming and it was strong because some houses or buildings collapsed. It was strong, but it is not what they call the “Big One.” But it was felt by almost all of Luzon. Don’t panic or be nervous.)

The post was made on the same day the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) recorded minor tremors in various parts of the country. 

The bottom line: Presently, it is not yet possible to predict when and where an earthquake will occur. 

According to the United States Geological Survey, scientists do not expect to know how to predict major earthquakes any time in the foreseeable future. While scientists are not yet able to predict earthquakes, they can make forecasts that calculate the probability of earthquakes occurring in a specific area, the possible magnitude, and how frequently they may occur. These forecasts are based on decades’ worth of information on past earthquake activity.


The ‘Big One’: Several studies have warned about a potential big earthquake that could hit Metro Manila when the West Valley Fault moves. The fault, which has moved four times in the last 1,400 years, moves roughly every 400 years. Because of this, experts say the “Big One” could happen in our lifetime. (READ: What dangers await when the West Valley Fault moves?)

Phivolcs has been conducting awareness-raising campaigns about the “Big One,” but it has also repeatedly reminded the public that no existing technology can provide pinpoint prediction. (EXPLAINER: Is it possible to predict earthquakes?)

Earthquake prediction: Baldwin’s claim lacks the elements of an earthquake prediction: date and time, location, and magnitude of the quake. 

Baldwin’s “prediction” merely mentions the general location of the supposed quake, and does not specify exactly when and how strong the earthquake would be.

Previous fact-checks: Rappler has fact-checked Baldwin several times for supposed predictions related to natural disasters and calamities:

Katarina Ruflo/

Katarina Ruflo is a Rappler intern. She is pursuing a degree in political science with a major in international relations and foreign service at the University of San Carlos, Cebu.

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