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Phivolcs records 113 aftershocks after 6.8 quake in Sarangani

MANILA, Philippines — At least 113 aftershocks were recorded after a magnitude 6.8 earthquake rocked Sarangani, Davao Occidental on Nov. 17.

Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) director Teresito Bacolcol said yesterday the magnitude of the aftershocks ranged between 1.4 and 4.9, with at least six of these being felt.

The earthquake was likely generated by the Cotabato Trench.

Bacolcol noted that the country is now more prepared in case a strong quake will hit Metro Manila.

“We are more prepared than before as earthquake drills of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council helped. People are more aware now,” he said.

Bacolcol said that based on Phivolcs’ projection, there would be at least 23,000 casualties in case a magnitude 6.5 earthquake hits Metro Manila.

“The total injuries if there would be a magnitude quake could be around 10,000,” he added.

He urged the public to stop taking videos during earthquakes, referring to reports that General Santos City residents recorded the rising of the sea in the province.

“It was saddening to see that there were videos showing that people even took videos of the sea instead of protecting themselves,” he said.

He noted that the West Valley Fault is ripe for another major quake.

“The last time it (West Valley Fault) moved was in 1658 and based on our study, the recurrence interval is between 400 to 600 years. If we base the 400 (years), it is nearer as the 600 (years) will be 200 years from now, so 1658 plus 400 years would be around 2058, so we do not expect it to be exact by 2058, it could be earlier, or it would be after but the closer we are, the higher the possibility that the magnitude 7.2 will happen,” he explained.

In a magnitude 7.2 quake, intensity 8 is expected to be felt in Metro Manila and nearby provinces, Bacolcol said.

“Ground rupture is possible in Bulacan, Marikina, Pasig, Makati, Quezon City, Taguig, Muntinlupa and Laguna,” he added.

Based on a 2004 study, the West Valley Fault is capable of generating a magnitude 7.2 earthquake.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health has extended mental health and psychosocial support services to affected students and their families