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DOST Undersecretary Dr. Renato U. Solidum, Jr. reminds Filipinos of the importance of being ready for the projected “Big One” earthquake, the subject of the DOST’s series of earthquake drills. He added the next drill will be in the next quarter although local government units (LGUs) may do it on their own.
By EDD K. USMAN
(SDN) — A 6.3 magnitude earthquake shook Christmas Day 2020.
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said today, Friday, the tremblor was tectonic in character and was traced 74 kilometers off the province of Batangas in the CALABARZON Region. Its epicenter is about 109 kilometers off Calatagan
DOST Undersecretary Dr. Renato U. Solidum, Jr., interviewed over DZRH radio, ruled out the prospect of a tsunami because the quake originated deep into the ocean.
He said the 6.3 magnitude was an initial estimate as the DOST’s Philippine Institute for Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) was still gathering data as of the time of DZRH radio interview with Solidum, morning of Christmas Day.
In an afternoon interview over Radio Pilipinas, the DOST official said aftershocks were expected in every quake. “The earthquake was considered strong,” he added, noting it occurred at 7:43 a.m. (Christmas Day).
It was a shaky morning that greeted affected Filipinos as far as Lubang Island, Oriental Mindoro, and as far as Laguna, Rizal, among other areas as the quake was felt in many areas in the country’s main island of Luzon.
Solidum reminds Filipinos of being prepared
He explained the National Capital Region (NCR) was far from the epicenter, the reason it was not really felt. “Earthquake is normal to us,” he pointed out.
He said the depth of the epicenter was 109 kilometers, part of the Manila Trench.
Solidum, meanwhile, reminded Filipinos of the importance of being ready for the projected “Big One” earthquake, the subject of the DOST’s series of earthquake drills. He added the next drill will be in the next quarter although local government units (LGUs) may do it on their own.
It can be recalled the DOST and its various attached agencies, in coordination with national government agencies and LGUs, have been conducting quake drill to prepare and familiarize Filipinos with what to do and where to go in case of the Big One strikes.
Solidum, the undersecretary for disaster risk reduction and climate change, and head of PHIVOLCS, said history showed the last time a massive quake hit the Philippines was approximately 400 years ago. And the next one maybe about this present period.
“Let us be prepared, make sure our houses are strong. Tie down (big objects that may fall). We should know where to go, preferably higher grounds. (In coastal areas) prepared for tsunami,” Solidum advised his countrymen.
The DOST quake drill dubbed “Duck, Cover and Hold” is being held with an eye for at least a 7.0 magnitude earthquake.
A prediction of the Metropolitan Manila Earthquake Impact and Reduction Study (MMEIRS) estimated that “a 7.2-magnitude earthquake from the West Valley Fault will result in th collapse of 170,000 residential houses and the death of 34,000 people.”
PHIVOLCS is the DOST agency “mandated to monitor and study earthquakes.” It has been implementing the quake drill with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). (/)
Featured image of a map indicating the location of the epicenter of the 6.3 magnitude Christmas Day quake, credit to PHIVOLCS.