2012 Visayas earthquake
|Date||February 6, 2012|
|Origin time||11:49:16 PST|
|Total damage||Structural collapse, landslides|
|Max. intensity||VII (PEIS)|
|Aftershocks||1600+ (as of February 7, 2012, 7:45 PST)|
A magnitude 6.7 (Mw) undersea blind thrust earthquake occurred off the coast of Negros Oriental, Philippines, on Monday, February 6, 2012 at 11:49 PST (03:49 UTC), with the epicenter approximately 72 kilometres (45 mi) north of Dumaguete, Negros Oriental.
Recorded intensities according to the PHIVOLCS Earthquake Intensity Scale (PEIS) were 7 in Dumaguete and V (PEIS) in Cebu. The earthquake was felt as far as Mindanao in the provinces of Misamis and Lanao and as far as Iligan.
The Philippines lies within the Pacific Ring of Fire, which causes the country to have frequent seismic and volcanic activity. In Cebu, the earthquake was the strongest so far of 2012. The strongest earthquake to hit Negros happened in 1948, but did not cause massive damage.
According to PHIVOLCS, the earthquake was caused by movement on a previously undiscovered fault. However, according to an Environmental Sciences professor, this fault was already known to private geologists hired by the Negros Occidental government to create a land use map for the province.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) gave a level two tsunami alert, indicating that the public should be on watch for "unusual waves", but did not call for any evacuation. Despite this, in Cebu City, panic ensued and many residents fled towards higher ground due to rumors that a tsunami had hit the coastal villages of Ermita, Mambaling and Pasil. Residents of Dumaguete also scrambled to the mountain town of Valencia because of the scare. These rumors were later confirmed to be false. PHIVOLCS announced the tsunami alert at 14:30 PST.
Damage and effects
The degree and extent of damage caused by the earthquake were significant, with most of the damage sustained during the initial earthquake. The hardest hit were the towns of Tayasan, Jimalalud, La Libertad, and the city of Guihulngan, in Negros Oriental. Several houses and buildings collapsed, while others sustained damages. The earthquake also triggered numerous landslides which buried houses and people. Reported places where landslides occurred are Barangay Solongon, La Libertad and Planas, Guihulngan.
Telecommunication services were disrupted after the earthquake.
Several places were cut off, notably the isolated remote towns. Guihulngan, one of the cities and towns affected by the earthquake, suffered extensive damage. Its water services, along with electricity and telecommunications, were reported to be cut off.
After the initial earthquake, the power supply was suddenly cut off in affected areas after power lines were damaged. Power plants in Visayas tripped or shut down following the earthquake, although no major damage was sustained in transmission facilities. On February 8, power was restored in some areas.
The transport network of some parts of Cebu and Negros Oriental suffered severe disruptions. Main arteries were damaged, although automobiles and people can still pass through damaged roads. A small number of roads, especially in the mountainous territories, were deemed impassable. A total of three roads and ten bridges were impassable. Because of damage of roads and bridges, access to some remote villages was cut off. Most of the damage happened in north Negros Oriental, which is more mountainous than the rest of Negros Oriental.
Cultural and governmental properties
- "2012 Earthquake Bulletins". Interaksyon. February 2012. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
- Elias O. Baquero, Kevin A. Lagunda and Rebelander S. Basilan (February 8, 2012). "Phivolcs 7: Tsunami warning correct; sees more aftershocks". Sun.Star Cebu. Retrieved February 8, 2012.
- USGS Deaths From Earthquakes in 2012
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- "Magnitude 6.7 – NEGROS – CEBU REGION, PHILIPPINES". United States Geological Survey. February 6, 2012. Retrieved February 28, 2012.
- Jun Pasaylo and Dennis Carcamo (February 7, 2012). "Death toll in Visayas quake continues to rise". The Philippine Star. Retrieved February 7, 2012.
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- Virgil Lopez (February 7, 2012). "Quake toll rising but no deaths in Cebu". Sun.Star Cebu. Retrieved February 7, 2012.
- Hernandez, Zen (7 February 2012). "Phivolcs probes new Negros fault line". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved 12 February 2012.
- BAP/JKV (11 February 2012). "Negros fault line discovered since 2008". Sun.Star Cebu. Retrieved 12 February 2012.
- "Strong earthquake jolts Visayas; 43 reported dead". BWorldOnline.com. February 6, 2012. Retrieved February 8, 2012.
- "Quake Deaths Rise". Manila Bulletin. February 7, 2012. Retrieved February 8, 2012.
- "3 roads, 10 bridges in Visayas impassable after quake; damage estimated at P265.76M". GMA News and Public Affairs. February 9, 2012. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
- "Rescuers search for missing after Philippine quake". Reuters. February 7, 2012. Retrieved February 8, 2012.
- "Number of casualties rises as 6.9 quake strikes off Negros". Manila Bulletin. February 7, 2012. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
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