Magnitude 5.5 earthquake rocks Occidental Mindoro

Robie de Guzman   •   May 4, 2019   •   3640

Courtesy: Google Map

MANILA, Philippines — A magnitude 5.5 earthquake jolted parts of Occidental Mindoro on Saturday (May 4), the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said.

In its earthquake bulletin, Phivolcs said the tremor struck at 9:05 a.m. 23 kilometers west of Rizal town.

The quake was tectonic in origin and had a depth of eight kilometers.

According to Phivolcs, varying intensities were felt in the following areas:

Intensity V – Rizal & San Jose, Occidental Mindoro; Calapan, Oriental Mindoro
Intensity III – Lipa City, Batangas; Malay, Nabas & Ibajay, Aklan; Libertad, Antique; 
Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro
Intensity II – San Nicolas, Batangas; City of Manila

Instrumental Intensities:
Intensity IV – San Jose, Occidental Mindoro
Intensity III – Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro
Intensity II – Tagaytay City; Malinao, Aklan; Sebaste & Culasi,Antique; Calatagan, Batangas
Intensity I – Talisay, Batangas; Dolores & Mauban, Quezon; San Jose, Antique

Phivolcs said no damage and aftershocks are expected following the temblor.

Photographers launch ‘Bayanihan para sa Batanes’ to help quake victims

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 2, 2019

Breathtaking rolling hills of Batanes | Photo by Freician Cantero

The spirit of bayanihan has proven itself timeless.

In the digital age, a group of photographers has gathered together to launch ‘Bayanihan para sa Batanes’.

READ: Congressmen to donate part of their salaries for Batanes quake victims

In their Facebook page, they put up their works for sale. All the proceeds will go to the victims of the Itbayat earthquake. 

Like a digital art gallery, the Facebook page of Bayanihan para sa Batanes is filled with moments — moments of nature, of people captured in the eyes of various photographers.

According to one of the photographers, RA Valderama, it all started with a group of friends who dearly love Batanes.

“It started by just selling a few photos, and calling attention of other photographers who want to help as well in this advocacy” he said.

Bayanihan has also proven itself limitless, it is not just about neighbors helping neighbors. According to Valderama, more than a dozen photographers across the country have submitted their works for the campaign.

“Before we know it we are almost 50 in number,” he said.

The spirit of bayanihan today goes beyond the willingness to share your physical strength. For these photographers as long as they can, they will.

Valderama said they are still open for more photographers.

“We still accept photographers who want to share their art and help this cause,” he said.—AAC

PH Coast Guard ships sail to quake-hit Batanes for relief ops

Robie de Guzman   •   August 2, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Two vessels of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) are on their way to Batanes province to bring relief goods and supplies for the victims of two successive earthquakes that jolted Itbayat town last July 27.

The PCG said the ships called BRP Malabrigo and BRP Capones are carrying relief goods and supplies including tents (steel frame and tent cover), sleeping kits, laminated sack roles (lona), boxes of canned goods, noodles, bottled water, toiletries, powdered milk and packs of rice.

The supplies, which were loaded on the ships on Wednesday (July 31), were from the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the PCG Auxilliary.

The vessels left on Thursday morning but it remains unclear on when the ships will arrive in Batanes due to strong waves, according to the PCG.

The mobilization is part of the agency’s response plan following President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to assist Batanes residents heavily affected by the tremors.

According to PCG Commandant Admiral Elson Hermogino, three vessels including the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources’ BRP Francisco Dagohoy have been tasked to conduct a transport mission to Batanes.

The PCG also deployed its Islander plane with medical teams on board to assist the Department of Health (DOH) personnel attending to the medical needs of residents affected by the earthquakes.

PHIVOLCS: Damaged structures in Itbayat may have used porous limestone

Marje Pelayo   •   July 31, 2019

Photo by Dominic de Sagon Asa

MANILA, Philippines – The municipality of Itbayat and other island towns in the province of Batanes in Northern Luzon are landmasses that emerged from the ocean, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS).

The area’s soil composition manifests its origin, according to Science and Technology USec. Renato Solidum.

“Doon sa Itbayat ang makikita mong mas maraming bato doon ay limestone (You notice in Itbayat, most of the stones there are limestone),” the PHIVOLCS Director said.

“Ang limestones ay galing sa corals na namuhay sa ilalim ng tubig. Kaya lang napapaangat ito dahil sa pagkilos ng fault, (Limestones are formed from corals on the sea bed. They surface to the ground when the fault moves),” he added.

In July 27, a series of three moderately strong earthquakes rocked the municipality of Itbayat – magnitudes 5.4, 5.9 and 5.8, respectively.

It was in 2015 when Itbayat experienced its latest intensity 5 tremor.

But after 60 or 70 years, it was only on Saturday (July 27) that intensity 6 was again experienced in the area.

According to Solidum, most of the houses or structures suffered damages because the materials used in their constructions were mostly limestone.

Though limestone-based structures could stand strong tropical cyclones, they couldn’t hold strong against earthquakes.

Also, some structures had no steel frames that supposedly add strength and resilience.

“Dahil ang limestone ay madaling matunaw o naaagnas habang tumatagal dahil sa ulan, nagiging marupok ang limestone, (Limestone is a porous material and easily absorbs liquid when drenched in rainwater. Limestone easily breaks),” Usec. Solidum explained.

Limestone was also traced in old churches that were destroyed during a magnitude 7.2 earthquake that struck the province of Bohol in 2013.

Other structures that were damaged also showed traces of limestone that’s why they were not able to stand the strength of the tremors. – (MNP with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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