Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Earthquake photos in Negros Oriental

Courtesy of Mark Aranas.

Earthquake panic

This is a video taken by Mark Nicholas Orongan.   

Earthquake in Dumaguete City: Update

The following news item is copied from http://newsinfo.inquirer.net

DUMAGUETE CITY—At least 52 people were killed when a 6.9-magnitude earthquake hit Negros and Cebu provinces shortly before noon Monday, causing landslides and huge cracks on highways, and violently shaking buildings, officials said.

A three-story building collapsed, while seven bridges were rendered impassable, they said.
In Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental, at least 29 people were feared dead following a landslide in Barangay (village) Planas, Mayor Ernesto Reyes said in a phone interview. He said there could be more fatalities in other barangays.

“They were buried in 30 feet (10 meters) of soil. If you had been buried from noon until now (6 p.m.), I don’t expect you to be alive,” Reyes said.

Rescuers dug with picks and shovels trying to reach dozens of people trapped under houses that collapsed, according to The Associated Press (AP).

Ten others died due to a landslide at the Guihulngan national road, Reyes said.

Governor Roel Degamo said a 9-year-old girl, Bernadette Raidan, died when a wall collapsed in Tayasan town.

Twelve other fatalities were listed by the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. Eight were from Guihulngan, one each from Jimalalud and Bindoy towns, and two from Tayasan.

The earthquake, which struck at 11:49 a.m., was located 5 kilometers northwest of Tayasan town in Negros Oriental, and was tectonic in origin. It had a depth of 10 km. The US Geological Survey placed the magnitude at 6.7.

In Manila, Malacañang urged the people affected by the earthquake to remain watchful and calm, and to cooperate with the authorities “while the threat of immediate dangers appears to have passed.”

President Benigno Aquino III ordered the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) to assess and collate the extent of the damage and casualties, and to provide the necessary interventions, his spokesperson, Edwin Lacierda, said in a statement.

Tsunami warning

The temblor also prompted a tsunami warning from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), alerting residents near the coastal areas of Negros and Cebu to watch for unusual waves but not requiring any evacuation.

The alert was canceled after no further reports of unusual sea level changes were received after the two-hour extended observation period.

But more aftershocks could be expected in the next few weeks in areas near the epicenter, according to Ishmael Narag, officer in charge of the Phivolcs’ seismology division. As of 1 p.m. Monday, Phivolcs had recorded 16 aftershocks.

The quake triggered another landslide in the mountain village of Solongon in La Libertad town, also in Negros Oriental. An unknown number of people were trapped, said Inspector Eric Arrol Besario, the town police chief.

“We’re now getting shovels and chainsaws to start a rescue because there were people trapped inside. Some of them were yelling for help earlier,” Besario told AP by phone. Three key bridges in the town cracked and were no longer passable, he said.

The earthquake sent shoppers scrambling under tables and workers and students rushing out of their buildings in cities of Negros and Cebu.

Classes in all public and private schools in Negros Oriental were suspended, while businesses in Dumaguete City were closed.

Building cracks

In Negros Occidental, the earthquake caused cracks in the city halls of Sagay and Cadiz, and the city hospital and gymnasium of Himamaylan.

Big waves damaged two houses and an ambulance fell on its side in Barangay Martilu, La Libertad, according to Mayor Lawrence Limkaichong. Two houses were also reported damaged in the town of Jimalalud, some 100 kilometers north of Dumaguete.

Huge waves washed out five bamboo and wooden cottages from a beach resort in La Libertad, but there were no reports of injuries, said Superintendent Ernesto Tagle. Elsewhere along the coast, people rushed out of schools, malls and offices.

Two people died in another town close to the epicenter, Tayasan, including a child when a concrete fence of a house collapsed, said Benito Ramos, head of the Office of Civil Defense.

Church wall collapse

Another child was killed in a church when a wall collapsed during a funeral in Negros Oriental’s Jimalalud town, Mayor Reynaldo Tuanda said.

Tayasan police officer Alfred Vicente Silvosa told AP by phone that aftershocks were preventing people from returning to their homes.

“We are outside, at the town plaza. We cannot inspect buildings yet because it’s dangerous,” Silvosa said.

“I felt the building shaking, so I rushed out of the building. Our computers, shelves, plates, the cupboards, water dispenser all fell.”

A three-story office building also collapsed in La Libertad, but occupants escaped.

Scared cops

The Negros Oriental police chief, Edward Carranza, said police rushed out of his building when the quake struck. “All my personnel ran out fearing our building would collapse,” he said.

“Now it’s shaking again,” he said as an aftershock hit. “My keychain is dancing.”

In Negros Occidental, Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia ordered the suspension of work and classes in all public and private offices and institutions. He, however, directed the city’s disaster team to be on alert
and to inspect buildings for cracks.

In Iloilo City, employees and students rushed out of offices and classrooms as buildings swayed. Classes in the city and province were suspended in anticipation of aftershocks. Government employees were sent home in the afternoon.

A blackout occurred in the city, but power was normalized at 3:45 p.m.

The earthquake was slightly felt in Boracay Island and a few Mindanao and Luzon provinces.

Medical attention

Guihulngan Mayor Reyes said about 100 people were injured and brought for treatment to Guihulngan District Hospital and neighboring district hospitals.

Reyes said Guihulngan had about 100 patients who are in need of immediate medical attention. “We need to transport these patients to Bacolod, Cebu or Dumaguete but our roads and bridges are impassable,” he said.

Food and medicines were waiting in the provincial capital of Dumaguete, but the aid could not reach the villages in need because of damaged roads and bridges.

“There is a Canadian and an Indian doctor who are here for an earlier scheduled medical mission and it’s a good thing they are helping us,” Reyes said. “They have some medicines with them but that may not be enough.”

All bridges and roads leading to the north and south of the city were damaged, leaving it isolated, he said. These included the bridges of Martilo in La Libertad, Pangaluan in Jimalalud town, and Tinayonan in Guihulngan.

Many buildings were damaged, he said. “The Landbank building is leaning on one side while a portion of our public market collapsed.”

Cracks appeared along sections of the national highway and on public and private buildings, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said in a statement.

Series of quakes

The first earthquake occurred at 11:49 a.m. with a magnitude of 6.8 and a depth of 20 km. The epicenter was located 72 km north of Dumaguete, 74 km west-northwest of Tagbilaran City and 80 km west-southwest of Cebu.

A second tremor hit various areas in the Visayas at 12:03 p.m. at a depth of 34.8 km. The epicenter was located 62 km north of Dumaguete, 69 km west-northwest of Tagbilaran and 84 km southwest of Cebu.
Still, a third tremor was felt at 12:20 p.m. with a magnitude of 4.8 and a depth of 34.8 km. The epicenter was located 71 km south-southeast of Bacolod City, 84 km west-southwest of Cebu and 84 km north of Dumaguete City.

Bobby Cañete of the local Phivolcs station in Palo town in Leyte said that the series of earthquakes felt in the region was caused by the movement of the Philippine Sea Plate diving down under eastern Philippines along the Philippine Trench. With reports from Jhunnex Napallacan, Carla Gomez and Nestor Burgos Jr., Inquirer Visayas; Christine O. Avendaño and Leila B. Salaverria in Manila; and AP

Monday, February 6, 2012

Earthquake hits Dumaguete City and Negros Oriental: Update

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Executive Director Benito Ramos lately confirmed an increase on the number of casualties from the 6.9 magnitude earthquake that struck Negros and Cebu.

Phivolcs said the earthquake was caused by a tectonic movement.  The agency also disclosed that they discovered a new fault line across the Visayas and Mindanao areas besides the one spotted in Luzon.

The first identified casualty was a 9-year old kid from the town of Tayasan, Negros Oriental.  At least 11 more fatalities are reported lately but the data has yet to be verified by the local authorities and NDRRMC.

Meanwhile, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Sec. Mario Montejo said several aftershocks have been recorded since the first major quake struck the island.

40 people missing ...

Negros Oriental Governor Roel Ragay Degamo said in an interview that their office so far has recorded 12 casualties while 40 others went missing after a landslide occurred.  Search and rescue operation for the missing people carries on.  The local government has already sent initial relief goods to the evacuees.

NDRRMC also stated four other fatalities in the city of Guihulngan, 2 from Tayasan and 1 from Jimalalud.

Aftershocks continue...

More than 157 aftershocks have been recorded since the first tremor, according to Phivolcs.  Some aftershocks were at high intensity at 5.8, 5.3, 5.0 and 4.5 magnitude.  Residents in the affected locations are advised to stay vigilant.

Read more updates from the Philippine News Daily 

Earthquake videos

Earthquake hits Dumaguete City and Negros Oriental

Photos after the earthquake:

What is this???

Disaster preparedness, huh?  Onli in da Pilipins...

Dumaguete residents rushing to higher grounds...
(The following photos courtesy of Hersley-Ven Casero)

Earthquake Update: Negros Island, Philippines

Based on the lower magnitude from Phivolcs, the max. MMI is V (moderate shaking), an enormous difference with the initial 6.4. The reason for the lower MMI is the lesser Magnitude and the greater distance to the coast.
UPDATE 22:28 UTC : 2 strong aftershocks with magnitudes of 5.7 and 5.2 have hit the same area 16 minutes and 18 minutes after the mainshick
UPDATE : Philippines seismological service Phivolcs is reporting a magnitude of 6.2 at a depth of 17 km. The epicenter following Phivolcs is more to the south, approx. 40 km from Bayawan City and Santa Catalina.
UPDATE : There has never been a tsunami threat for other than the local Negros beaches.
UPDATE : As the earthquake occurred in the middle of the night when everybody was asleep, shaking damage and injuries cannot be excluded.
UPDATE : Based on the earthquake data, the following villages and towns will have a strong shaking (MMI VI) : Alim (4,000 people), Asia (24,000 people) and Sipalay (24,000 people)
UPDATE : Most important GDACS wave heights are :
Hinoba-An : 0.4 meter
Inayauan : 0.4 meter
Sipalay : 0.6 meter
UPDATE : GDACS  has calculated that the (theoretical) maximum wave height to arrive at the Negros coast would be 0.60 meter at Sipalay
A 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck the coastal waters of Negros Island, Philippines  at 4:47 AM local time. The epicenter of the earthquake is approx. 30 km out of the coast.
Read more:  earthquake-report.com

News: Magnitude 6.8 Earthquake in the Visayas region, Philippines

6.8 earthquake shakes central Philippines

A 6.8-magnitude earthquake has struck the central Philippines, killing a child and triggering a local tsunami alert.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology issued the tsunami alert for the central Philippines on Monday, saying the quake could trigger a one-metre wave. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not issue a warning.
The US Geological Survey said the quake was centred 72km north of Dumaguete city on Negros Island in the central Philippines. It hit at a depth of 46km.
People rushed out of schools, malls and offices during the quake. Officials in some areas suspended work.
A child died when a concrete fence of a house collapsed in Taysan town in Negros Oriental province, said civil defence head Benito Ramos.
A mall in San Carlos city in neighbouring Negros Occidental province, also on Negros Island, was damaged when its windows were shattered by the shaking, he said.
The quake was also felt in central Cebu city, the country's second largest, where it lasted about 30 seconds.
The Philippines is in the Pacific "Ring of Fire" where earthquakes and volcanic activity are common. A 7.7-magnitude quake killed nearly 2,000 people in Luzon in 1990.

USGS: 6.8 quake strikes off coast of Philippines' 3rd-largest island

A 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck Monday off the coast of the third-largest island in the Philippines, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

The quake struck about 11:49 a.m. (10:49 p.m. Sunday ET) about 70 kilometers (44 miles) from the coastal city of Dumaguete on the Philippine island of Negros, the USGS said.

No tsunami warning has been issued and there is no tsunami threat to Hawaii, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said. The earthquake occurred in the ocean at a depth of 46.6 kilometers (29 miles), according to the USGS.

There were no widespread reports of damage.

At the Circle Inn Hotel in the provincial capital of Bacolod, a receptionist said the quake lasted between three and five minutes.

"We felt the shaking," the receptionist said. "The guests all exited the building. But all the people here are okay."

There was no damage to the hotel, the receptionist said.

Magnitude 6.8 earthquake strikes off Philippines - USGS

One child died and a local tsunami alert was issued after a magnitude 6.7 earthquake followed by two aftershocks struck off the Philippines island of Negros on Monday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and a local monitoring service.

The Philippines Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said it warned residents along coastal areas to be on the watch for unusual waves as it raised a tsunami alert at level 2.

No evacuation was ordered yet.

The institute also warned structurally weak buildings may sustain damages. The U.S. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said that based on all available data a Pacific-wide tsunami is not expected.

The quake, with depth of about 10 kms (6.2 miles), according to the institute, and centered just 5 kms off the shore of Tayasan, Negros Oriental, was felt at intensity 7 in Dumaguete City and intensity 6 in Bacolod City, according to the institute.

The USGS put the quake at 6.7 in magnitude and a depth of 12.4 miles (19.8 kms).

Two aftershocks, of 4.8 and 5.6 magnitude on the USGS scale, followed within 30 minutes of the earthquake.

"Damage is possible in areas hit by at least intensity 5 and if the buildings are structurally weak," Renato Solidum, head of the volcanology and seismology institute said in a radio interview.

Dumaguete City is experiencing magnitude 6.9 earthquake today

A magnitude 6.9 earthquake was reported at 11:49 this morning at Tayasan town in Negros Oriental. Intensity III tremors were reported as far south as Butuan and Cagayan de Oro, and as far North as Legaspi City in Albay. Dumaguete City, the nearest major city to the epicenter, experienced Intensity VII tremors.
The President has been informed and is being constantly updated of the situation. He has already tasked PHIVOLCS to monitor the affected areas for further seismic activity. A Level 2 tsunami alert has already been issued by PHIVOLCS requiring residents in affected areas to stay away from the shorelines and to be on alert for unusual waves.
DOTC Secretary Mar Roxas has instructed Coast Guard Chief Edmund Tan to prevent fishermen from going out to sea for the duration of the alert. PNP Region VI and VII have already been instructed by Gen. Nicanor Bartolome to keep the population away from the shoreline, and to ensure the maintenance of peace and order, while the alert is ongoing. DSWD personnel are already on standby to lend support and relief to affected citizens.
While there are no forced evacuations being ordered, we implore the people in affected areas to remain vigilant and take the necessary safety precautions. Let us cooperate with government agencies, allow them to do their work, and remain calm and watchful.