[PHOTO -Renato Solidum,
head of the Philippine seismology agency, points to an area on a Philippine map
where the epicenter of the earthquake happened during a press conference in
suburban Quezon city, north of Manila, Philippines on Friday Aug. 31, 2012. A
7.6-magnitude quake struck off the eastern coast of the Philippines late Friday,
killing at least one person in a house collapse and setting off small tsunami
waves about 0.1-foot-high. Most coastal residents fled to high ground and power
was knocked out in several cities. (AP Photo/Aaron
– At least 196 aftershocks were felt yesterday in many parts of the Visayas and
Mindanao after Friday's magnitude 7.6 earthquake which forced hundreds in
coastal communities to flee to higher ground due to threats of tsunami.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) lifted
yesterday its tsunami alert and advised local officials to implement an orderly
return of evacuees to their communities.
The latest report of aftershocks came at 6 p.m. yesterday.
Phivolcs director Renato Solidum said there were no signs of any approaching
destructive tsunami shortly after midnight Saturday.
"Phivolcs is canceling all tsunami alerts associated with the magnitude 7.7
earthquake (later changed to magnitude 7.6) that occurred at 8:47 p.m.
(Philippine Standard Time) on Aug. 31, 2012. The local government of affected
coastal provinces may now advise and assist those who evacuated to safely return
to their communities," the agency said in its Tsunami Bulletin No. 2 issued at
12:10 a.m. yesterday.
"Initial reports of sea level disturbance received by Phivolcs indicate that
the tsunami generated by this earthquake did not reach life-threatening
heights," it added.
Solidum said aftershocks normally happen after a major tremor. He recalled
that last February, close to a thousand aftershocks were recorded by Phivolcs
following an earthquake in Negros Oriental.
Minutes after the earthquake Friday night, Phivolcs raised tsunami alert
level 3 over Samar, Southern Leyte, the Surigao provinces, and the Davao region.

Two hours later, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center lowered the alert level
in Indonesia but the alert level in the Philippines remained due to monitored
small tsunami waves.
Surigao City was hit by a small tsunami of up to 19 centimeters at 10:48 p.m.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center also reported a 3 cm tsunami in Legazpi
City at 9:43 p.m. and in Davao City at 9:50 p.m.
Waves of close to half a meter high were also reported in Pilar, Surigao del
Norte about 10 minutes after the earthquake.
In its bulletin, Phivolcs said the earthquake's epicenter was traced at
10.83°N, 126.71°E – 112 km S 78° E of Guiuan in Eastern Samar.
Intensity 7 earthquake was also reported in Oras, Sulat, and Borongan City in
Eastern Samar; Intensity 6 in Siargao, Surigao del Norte, Tacloban City, Palo,
Leyte, St. Bernard, Southern Leyte; Intensity 5 in Mati City, Compostela,
Legaspi City, Iloilo City, Bislig City, Iligan City; Intensity 4 in Butuan City,
Catbalogan City, Cagayan de Oro City, and Davao; Intensity 3 in Cotabato City,
Mambalao, Camiguin, General Santos City; and Intensity 2 in Marawi City and
Sipalay City.
Disaster officials, meanwhile, said last Friday's earthquake should serve as
a wake-up call to authorities and to people living in the vicinity of the West
Valley Fault which stretches between Angat in Bulacan and Taal Lake in Batangas.

"The movement of the Philippine trench is long overdue, just like the other
fault lines within the so-called Pacific Rim of fire," said Edgardo Ollet,
operations chief of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management
Council-Office of Civil Defense (NDRRMC-OCD).
Ollet said the movement in the Philippine trench, which triggered last
Friday's earthquake, might cause some movements in the West Valley Fault.
The Philippine trench is located in the country's eastern seaboard and
stretches toward Japan up to the San Andreas Fault in the United States.
The West Valley Fault passes through several highly urbanized areas with
high-rise buildings in Metro Manila.
Ollet said that while there is no way to predict an earthquake, it's best for
everyone to prepare for the worst.
He said administrators of high-rise structures, especially those located in
southern Metro Manila, should conduct regular earthquake drills for all building
"If the Philippine trench moved Friday, there is always that assumption that
other fault lines have been affected and will also move. When? That we don't
know. All we can do is to be prepared," Ollet said.
He cited several destructive earthquakes including the one on Feb. 17, 2006
that triggered a mudslide that wiped out the entire Barangay Guinsaugon in St.
Bernard, Leyte.
A 7.9 intensity earthquake on July 16, 1990 killed thousands in Luzon.
Residents of high-rise buildings should at least keep flashlights, medicine,
canned goods, bottled water and whistles within reach in case of emergency, he
Metro at risk
Sen. Loren Legarda, for her part, said Friday's powerful earthquake should
serve as reminder that much has yet to be done to ensure the disaster
preparedness of Metro Manila.
Legarda called the attention of concerned government agencies to the 2004
Metro Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study (MMEIRS), which indicated that a
7.2 magnitude quake in the nation's capital could cause massive destruction and
countless deaths.
"The MMEIRS revealed high casualties and massive destruction should a
7.2-magnitude earthquake hit Metro Manila. The study also contains priority
actions that should have been undertaken three to six years after the study was
publicized to reduce the impacts of such a strong tremor," Legarda said.
She said the study showed that a 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Metro Manila is
likely to destroy 40 percent of residential buildings and 35 percent of public
buildings and kill 34,000 people and injure 114,000 more. Resulting fires can
cause 18,000 more deaths.
"We must also ensure that there are back-up systems of vital utilities such
as electricity and telecommunications equipment, which are necessary for
post-disaster efforts," Legarda said.
Measures that the government should undertake include promotion of
disaster-resilient urban development, ensuring the structural integrity of
buildings and critical infrastructure, identifying open spaces for evacuation
when tremors occur, and formulating emergency supply system for water, food and
other necessities.
"Disaster prevention is a tall order, but it is one well worth the
investment. We must prepare ourselves for more frequent natural hazards, keeping
in mind that it is only through effective preventive measures that we can save
lives," Legarda said. – With Marvin Sy, Jaime Laude, Helen
Flores, John Unson

[PHOTO -Residents take shelter at the lobby of the city hall in Tandag,
Surigao Del Sur, following a 7.6 magnitude earthquake that struck eastern and
southern Philippines, Friday. The quake set off car alarms, shook items off
shelves and sent many coastal residents fleeing for high ground before the
Pacific Tsunami Warning Center lifted all tsunami alerts it had issued for the
Philippines and neighboring countries from Indonesia to Japan, and for Pacific
islands as far away as the Northern Marianas. AP]
One person was killed as a massive earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter
scale jolted Philippines on Friday, officials said on Saturday.
A 54-year-old woman was killed in southern Cagayan de Oro city after a house
collapsed there, said a senior government official on Saturday.
"M7.6 - 96km E of Sulangan, Philippines," the US Geological Survey site
mentioned about the quake.
Thousands of people, who had fled from their homes located in coastal
villages, returned to their homes on Saturday.
Several villagers are still staying in evacuation centres, reports said.
A tsunami warning was initially issued for the region which also comprises
Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia and Belau after the earthquake occurred.
However, the warning was later lifted.
No large tsunami was generated by the quake.
No major damage was caused by the earthquake though minor ones like cracks on
bridges and buildings were reported.
According to reports, cracks appeared on some roads in Borongan City.
Power lines were snapped in Tandag City in Surigao del Sur province on the
east coast of Mindanao due to the quake on Friday.
BREAKING NEWS Earthquake Hits Off Philippines Magnitude 7.7
Quake Strikes 487 Miles From Manila

on Aug 31, 2012 by LondonClosingCermony
Manila: An earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter Scale rocked the coast of
Philippines on Friday. Following the earthquake, tsunami warnings were issued
for Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan and Japan.
Tsunami alerts were also issued for Papua New Guinea and other islands in the
Pacific, including the US state of Hawaii.
The NOAA Tsunami Center later lifted a warning for Japan, Taiwan and several
other Pacific islands. 7.9 earthquake rocks Philippines, tsunami warning issued

"Strong earthquake here in Taft, Eastern Samar! And it lasted very long too!"
Samar congressman, Ben Evardone, told reporters via text message.
An official at the Philippines' Volcanolgy Institute said he expected damage
had been caused in Samar province but he had yet to receive any reports.
"If you are anywhere near the coast I recommend that you head to higher
ground," Paul Caruso of the USGS told Sky TV by telephone when asked about a
threat of a tsunami hitting the coast of the Philippines.
The quake was centered off the east coast, 91 miles off the town of Guiuan in
Samar province, the US Geological Survey said.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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