Tuesday, January 21, 2020

The eruption of the Taal volcano

The island site was buried by massive deposits of ash when Taal erupted last week and remains under a mandatory evacuation order due to a feared bigger blast.

Heavy charcoal-like ash rained down on towns and villages, blanketing everything. Houses and trees buckled under the weight of it. Affected areas had no power or fresh water.

But scientists warn the volcano is still at risk of a major blast, and more than 110,000 people have taken refuge in shelters away from danger.

At least 3,000 who lived on the island were ordered out, though many have made trips back to rescue livestock or fetch items from their homes.

Houses were flattened or buried under the ash, though AFP saw at least one with a roof swept clean.

Thousands like her fled their homes when Taal suddenly rumbled into life. Caught off guard, many sought shelter in temporary evacuation centers carrying only the clothes they were in with little to no possessions.

Seismic activity had been recorded at the volcano since March 2019, but that morning the alert level was at one -- meaning a hazardous eruption was not imminent.

Many families previously offered services catering to the tourists who visited the volcano -- a popular attraction in the Philippines despite the risk of eruption.

The government has said it is now working on a plan to permanently relocate them, and turn the island into what officials have called a no-man's land.

Many people here made their living off the rich land around the volcano, from fishing in the lake or from the many tourists that visit each year.

The volcano, about 37 miles (60 kilometers) south of the capital Manila on the island of Luzon, is like a time bomb. Volcanologists warn a bigger eruption could be yet to come -- but no one can predict when, or if, it will explode or settle back down.

Because of the unpredictability of the volcano, no one knows how long they will have to stay there or whether there will be enough supplies to last the weeks or even months.

Even without a potential second eruption of Taal -- which could prove devastating for the local economy -- the financial effects are already taking their toll.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

6.5 magnitude quake hit the island of Mindanao

The 6.5 magnitude quake hit the island of Mindanao, the US Geological Survey said, causing locals to run to safety in the same area where a strong tremor killed eight people on Tuesday.

The powerful shaking caused serious damage to a condominium building in the major southern city of Davao, which was about 45 kilometres (28 miles) from the epicentre.

At least eight people were hurt at the building, and rescuers had launched a search to determine if residents might be trapped inside, police told AFP.

Some collapsed structure in another town crushed and killed a local official who was inside to help with an improvised medical treatment centre set up after the previous quakes.

A hotel partially collapsed in another area, but a disaster official told AFP the building had already been evacuated.

The Philippines suffers regular tremors as part of the Pacific "Ring of Fire", an arc of intense seismic activity that stretches from Japan through Southeast Asia and across the Pacific basin.

The area was still suffering the effects of a 6.6-magnitude quake that hit less than two weeks ago, killing at least five people and damaging dozens of buildings.

Residents fled homes across the Mindanao region and a mall caught fire in the city of General Santos shortly after the quake struck on October 16.

Hundreds of people were still displaced two weeks after that quake when the new one struck earlier this week, forcing hundreds more from their homes.

One of the deadliest quakes to hit the Philippines recently was in April, when 16 people were killed as a building near the capital Manila collapsed and the secondary Clark airport was shut down due to damage to the passenger terminal.

High-rise structures in the capital swayed after the April quake, leaving some with large cracks in their walls.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Building collapses after 6.6 magnitude earthquake

Entire office shakes and workers scream as earthquake hits the Philippines

The 6.6 magnitude earthquake struck at 9:04 am local time on Mindanao island in the south of the country.

Part of the municipal hall in Magsaysay town, Davao del Sur, fell down when the strong earthquake which hit the city at 9:04 am local time.

Staff said that miraculously nobody was injured from the building collapse and everyone was evacuated before the concrete wall gave way.

Terrified workers scream as they run for the fire escape. Staff said that everybody escaped unharmed.

Local media reported that elsewhere in the region, a 15-year-old high-school student from Davao del Sur province was killed by a hollow block. One other person was killed and several others injured while more are missing.

The quake's epicentre was located inland northeast of Tulunan town in Cotabato province, 972km (604 miles) south of Manila, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said.

It struck the town of Tulunan and other parts of Mindanao just two weeks after a strong quake hit the same area, killing several people and injuring dozens more.

Shocked Filipinos fled from a building as it collapsed during a 6.8 magnitude earthquake in the Philippines this morning (October 29) in which at least two people died.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

6.4-magnitude quake shakes church

Residents ran from their homes and offices in panic and a shopping centre was set ablaze during the intense shaking in central Mindanao, the country’s second-largest island.

Terrified worshippers were sent running for cover during a church service when a deadly 6.4-magnitude earthquake rattled the Philippines' second biggest island today.

Authorities advised residents to stay out of homes that may have suffered cracks and been weakened.

The quake, which measured 6.4, also caused power cuts and strong aftershocks in some regions.

At least one child has been killed and more than two dozen people injured after a powerful earthquake in the south of the Philippines.

A girl hit by collapsed wall in a house died in Datu Paglas town in Maguindanao province, ABS-CBN television network reported, citing a police report, adding that in nearby Tulunan town in North Cotabato province, two residents were injured by falling fragments from a concrete wall.

The quake knocked out power in Kidapawan city, a key regional transport hub, officials said.

Schools in quake-hit areas, including the president's hometown of Davao city, have suspended classes on Thursday so buildings can be inspected for damage. President Rodrigo Duterte was in the capital, Manila, when the quake struck.

Leslie Francisco, a local disaster response officer, said a small school building in Digos city in Davao del Sur province was damaged but there was no report of anybody being trapped inside.

In the town of Datu Paglas, a child was crushed to death when a house collapsed while four residents of nearby Tulunan town were injured when at least two other houses fell down.

Hundreds of people were sent rushing out of a shopping mall and patients were forced to flee a hospital as the tremors struck. An elderly man was injured after being struck by a falling object during the early evening quake. 

One of the world's most disaster-prone countries, the Philippines has frequent earthquakes and volcanic activity because it lies on the so-called Pacific "Ring of Fire," a seismically active arc of volcanos and fault lines in the Pacific Basin. A magnitude 7.7 quake killed nearly 2,000 people in the northern Philippines in 1990.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Earthquake preparedness in the Philippines

The safety and wellbeing of your loved ones are important, so take time NOW to develop a family earthquake preparedness plan. If you have already developed a plan, take time to review and update it. Below is a sample plan that you can use for your family.

For the past two decades, geological reports referred to a major earthquake that will rip off Metro Manila through the fault line starting from Mari

What to do DURING an Earthquake: 

1. If you are inside a structurally sound building, stay there.

  • Protect your bodies from falling debris by bracing yourself in doorway or by getting under a sturdy desk or table.

2. If you are outside, move to an open area.

  • Get away from power lines, posts, walls and other structures that may fall or collapse.
  • Stay away from buildings with glass panes.
  • If you are on a mountain or near steep hill slope, move away from steep escarpments which may be affected by landslide.

 3. When driving a vehicle, pull to the side of the road and stop.

  • Do not attempt to cross bridges or overpass which may have been damaged.
  • If you are along the shore and you feel a very strong earthquake, strong enough to make standing difficult, it is always safest to assume that tsunami (giant sea waves) has been triggered. Run away from the shore toward higher ground.
  • Make it habit to turn of gas tanks when not in use.  

What to do AFTER an Earthquake:  

1. If you are inside an old, weak structure, take the fastest and safest away out! 

  • Do not rush to the exit; get out calmly in an orderly manner.
  • Do not use elevators, use the stairs.
  • Check yourself and others for injuries.  

2. Help reduce the number of casualties from the earthquake. 

  • Don't enter partially damage buildings; strong aftershocks may cause these collapse
  • Gather information and disaster prevention instructions from battery-operated radios.
  • Obey public safety precaution.  

 3. Check your Surroundings. 

  • Clean-up chemical spills, toxic and flammable materials to avoid any chain of unwanted events.
  • Check for fire and if any, have it controlled.
  • Check your water and electrical lines for defects, if any damage is suspected, turn the system off in the main valve or switch.  

4. Unless you need emergency help,: 

  • Do not use your telephone to call relatives and friends. Disaster prevention authorities may need the line for emergency communication.
  • Do not use your car and drive around areas of damage, rescue and relief operations need the roads for mobility.

5. If you must evacuate your residence, leave a message stating where you are going.

  • Take with you your earthquake survival kit, which should contain all necessary items for your protection and comforts.

To be effective, they must be done before earthquakes occur. Preparing for earthquakes involves 1) Learning what employers should do before, during and after earthquakes; 2) Doing or preparing to do those things now, before the next quake; 3) Workplace preparedness requires the participation of owners, managers and workers, as well as those who design, build, regulate and maintain buildings used as workplaces. The following are activities that can be undertaken now.

Keeping your family safe before, during, and after an earthquake requires proper planning. We hope this guide will provide you the foundation necessary to protect your family and home in the face of a disaster.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Magnitude 6.1 quake rocks Luzon

The epicenter of the quake, which occurred at 5:11 p.m., was located at 18 kilometers northeast of Castillejos, Zambales, according to Science Undersecretary and Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) director Renato Solidum Jr.

The quake sent people spilling into the streets from swaying high-rise buildings in Metro Manila. Damage to Clark International Airport in Pampanga prompted a 24-hour closure of the facility.

Rescuers rushed to find survivors as some 100 shoppers were feared buried in a supermarket in Pampanga that collapsed after a magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck Metro Manila and parts of Luzon late yesterday afternoon.

Blackout hit wide areas of Pampanga amid reports of damage to facilities of local electric cooperatives.

A concrete boundary arc across the MacArthur highway between Pampanga and Bataan also collapsed, rendering the highway impassable to all vehicles for at least an hour until the debris was cleared.

A major earthquake has a magnitude of 7 and above.

The tremor was felt at intensity 5 – classified as strong – in San Felipe, Zambales; Abucay, Bataan; Magalang, Pampanga; Malolos and Obando, Bulacan; Quezon City; Manila; Valenzuela City; and Lipa City, Batangas.

The shaking was also felt at intensity 4 – moderately strong – in Caloocan City; Las Piñas City; Makati City; Marikina City; Pasig City; Meycauayan and San Jose del Monte, Bulacan; Floridablanca, Pampanga; Villasis, Pangasinan; Tagaytay City and Baguio City.

Residents of Muntinlupa City; Dasmariñas, Indang and General Trias, Cavite; Lucban, Quezon; and Cabanatuan City, Palayan City, Gapan City, Santo Domingo and Talavera, Nueva Ecija also felt the tremor at intensity 3, which is classified as weak.

It was slightly felt at intensity 2 in Baler, Aurora.

Phivolcs’ instruments also recorded the quake at intensity 5 in Angeles City, Pampanga and Malolos, Bulacan; intensity 4 in Quezon City; San Juan City; Pasig City; Muntinlupa City; Gapan City and Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija; Tagaytay City; and San Ildefonso, Bulacan; intensity 3 in Mauban, Quezon; Talisay, Batangas; Guagua, Pampanga; and Olongapo City; Intensity 2 in Lucena City; Dolores and Lucban, Quezon; Dagupan City; and Daet, Camarines Norte; and intensity 1 in Guinayangan, Quezon; Calatagan, Batangas; Magalang, Pampanga and Sinait, Ilocos Sur.

Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) director general Jim Sydiongco reported last night that the Clark control tower sustained a broken glass panel, resulting in the tower not being utilized while it awaited full damage assessment.

There were also reports that the Clark passenger terminal building incurred damage, according to Sydiongco.

No damage, however, was sustained by the airport’s runway.