Phivolcs records sequence of earthquakes in Bicol region

Maris Federez   •   October 18, 2021   •   209

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (DOST-Phivolcs) has recorded a sequence of small earthquakes in the Bicol region following a small shallow-seated earthquake with a magnitude of 4.3 and depth of 4 kilometers occurred at 10:08 p.m. on October 14.

The location of the epicenter of the 4.3 magnitude quake was determined to be at 13.65 north latitude and 123.14 east longitude or at 3 kilometers North and 75 kilometers west of Canaman, Camarines Sur.

A total of 27 earthquakes were recorded by the nearest DOST-Phivolcs earthquake monitoring station located in San Jose, Camarines Sur (Station Code: SCSP).

Magnitude ranges from 1.7 to 4.3 with crustal shallow depths between 1 to 40 kilometers.

The last recorded event associated with this earthquake sequence was at 1:22 a.m. on Monday, October 18.

There was no similar event that followed as of 6:00 a.m.

Phivolcs also recorded ten events that were felt at various intensities in the provinces of Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur and Albay.

Calculation of the intensity distribution for the first event was performed using the Rapid Earthquake Damage Assessment System (Redas) software using the latest calculated parameters of the earthquake, according to the statement released by the DOST.

Results show that the magnitude and shallow depth of this inland event has the potential to cause damage in the general vicinity of the epicenter.

The department said it immediately informed the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) about this during the information release of the first event.

The DOST also noted that social media posts indicate that the event was widely felt with unconfirmed observations of non-structural damage (glass door was damaged) and damage to building content.

This prompted OCD to instruct their regional office to investigate the reported damage in the affected areas.

DOST-Phivolcs said that based on the collected data, this sequence of events, showing no identifiable large event, can be considered as an earthquake swarm that may occur in a tectonically active region, as suggested by sparse seismicity in this area of the Bicol region.

DOST-Phivolcs said it will closely monitor any progress of this earthquake activity and will continue to post updated information at the Phivolcs Official website.

Phivolcs reports weak explosion in Mt. Pinatubo

Maris Federez   •   December 1, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — A weak explosion was recorded at Mount Pinatubo on Tuesday afternoon, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) reported.

The Pinatubo Volcano Network recorded seismic and infrasound signals of a weak explosion at Mt. Pinatubo between 12:09 and 12:13PM, an advisory from Phivolcs said.

The agency confirmed that the event produced a plume that was detected by Japan’s Himawari-8 Satellite.

“The seismic and infrasound signals are not typical of known volcanic processes and are currently being evaluated together with other potential sources,” Phivolcs said.

The advisory further read that there has been very low seismic activity in the past days.

It added that the geochemical survey at Mt. Pinatubo Crater Lake yielded low diffused volcanic CO2, discounting magmatic activity beneath the edifice.

Phivolcs cautioned the public to refrain from going in the vicinity of Mount Pinatubo.

The agency also advised local government units (LGUs) to ban entry into the Pinatubo Crater until the source of the explosion is determined.

“Communities and LGUs surrounding Pinatubo are reminded to be always prepared for both earthquake and volcanic hazards and to review, prepare and strengthen their contingency, emergency, and other disaster preparedness plans,” Phivolcs said.

Ivermectin clinical trials to push through this September despite delays — DOST

Marje Pelayo   •   September 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said preparations are almost done for the start of the ivermectin clinical trial this month.

The clinical trial is necessary to find out if the controversial drug is effective against COVID-19, Dr. Jaime Montoya of the DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) said.

During the Laging Handa public briefing, Montoya said the agency had to adjust its protocol based on the standards of the international consortium before it launches the clinical trial for ivermectin.

“Dahil po may mga nag-review ng ating mga protocol na galing sa international reviewers po ay binago po natin ang ilang aspeto sa ating protocol para mapaganda pa po ito,” Montoya said.

Montoya added that the clinical trial for ivermectin in the country is supported by major international health bodies like the World Health Organization (WHO), the National Institute on Health, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Also, he noted the importance of the clinical trial to come up with evidence on its effectiveness against COVID-19, with Filipinos as the concentration of the trial.

“Napakahalaga na magkaroon tayo ng lokal na datos tungkol sa mga Pilipino na nabibigyan ng gamot na ito, tungkol sa safety issue, sa mga side effects, kung ito po ay totoong mabisa sa mga Pilipinong may COVID-19,” he said.

“Kailangan gumawa pa ng clinical trial para magkaroon ng sapat na ebidensya kung ito ba ay magagamit o hindi para sa COVID-19,” he added.

Currently, the DOST’s requirements are being evaluated by the consortium’s ethics committee.

Once it is finished, the DOST hopes the clinical trial for ivermectin will push through this month as initially planned.

“Ito po sa kasalukuyan ay tinatapos na ang ethics at technical review bago po ito magsimula dahil ang target natin ay this month po ‘yan dapat magsimula,” he said.

Magnitude 5 quake hits Zamboanga Sibugay

Maris Federez   •   August 25, 2021

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) reported that a 5.0-magnitude earthquake hit Zamboanga Sibugay on Wednesday evening, (Aug. 25).

Phivolcs said the epicenter of the earthquake was traced at 9 kilometers (km) southeast of Olutanga, Zamboanga Sibugay at around 8:03 p.m.

Intensity V was felt in Mabuhay, Zamboanga Sibugay, while Intensity IV was experienced in Zamboanga City; Margosatubig, Zamboanga del Sur; Isabela City, Basilan; and Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay.

Phivolcs recorded Intensity III in Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur; and Liloy, Zamboanga del Norte, and Intensity II in Dipolog City, Polanco and Manukan, Zamboanga del Norte; and Molave, Zamboanga del Sur.

According to Phivolcs, the earthquake was tectonic in origin, which means there was a movement of an active fault near the area.

The agency said aftershocks are likely to occur.

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