Phivolcs allays fears of ‘Big One’ from Batangas twin quakes

CAMP VICENTE LIM, Calamba City — Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) Undersecretary and Executive Director Dr. Renato Solidum has allayed fears of Metro Manilans over widespread texts and social media posts that the Batangas quakes could trigger a very strong earthquake known as the “Big One”.

In a press briefing on the earthquake swarm at the Batangas Provincial Capitol auditorium, Phivolcs-DOST Undersecretary Solidum explained that the series of tremors that hit the country like the strong quakes in Batangas, Ilocos, Northern Samar and Surigao are not connected or have nothing to do with any big quake to hit Metro Manila.

The briefing also dispelled wrong information circulated around on the “Big One” scenario and advised the public to source correct and verified information from the Phivolcs.

Solidum said that the quakes that hit Batangas and parts of the Calabarzon Region, Metro Manila and Camarines Norte were traced to a local fault line in Mabini that triggered the quakes.

Fault lines are generators of ground movements or earthquakes, according to Phivolcs.

The Phivolcs chief clarified that the Mabini fault line is not connected with the West Valley Fault, which is an earthquake generator that causes ground movement that could jolt Metro Manila and other localities situated atop the fault.

Phivolcs also identified that Lubang fault off Mindoro island is also an earthquake generator but the Saturday mid-afternoon twin quakes were triggered by the Mabini fault.

At the briefing, Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas added that rapid disaster assessments have been conducted by the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council in cooperation with the Calabarzon Office of Civil Defense (OCD) and RDRRMC.

Mandanas was also asked on effects of the underground movement at sea particularly on Batangas rich biodiversity at the Verde Island Passage which is acknowledged by international biodiversity experts.

Mandanas added that the province will be conducting its disaster assessment especially on the 500 kilometer Malampaya pipeline which spans the Palawan-Mindoro to Batangas underground and seawaters.

As of Monday, the Batangas provincial disaster risk reduction and management office (PDRRMO) reported of more than 11,000 displaced residents arising from the twin quakes.

Scores have been housed in evacuation centers and temporary tent shelters at open areas.

The evacuees are temporary attended to by the PDRRMC, OCD, NDRRMC, DSWD, police and the military support groups, local government units (LGUs) particularly the barangays, health authorities and other concerned government and non-government organizations.

Mobile food kitchen brigades have been deployed as food reliefs and other medical and psycho-social services have been provided to residents who still fear of returning to their homes due to several aftershocks in the aftermath of the quakes.

The central Office of Civil Defense (OCD) also informs the public that its Public Affairs Office is transitioning from the old email address at:ocdpao@gmail.com to the new Email address at: publicaffairs@ocd.gov.ph.

For any concerns and information, the public may contact the OCD through its telephone: (02) 911-5061 to 64 loc.123; (02)961-6314 or visit the website at:www.ocd.gov.ph. Saul Pa-a/PNA-northboundasia.com