Monday, 28 Sep 2020

Philippines earthquake: Gigantic 6.8 magnitude quake rocks Samar – tsunami update issued

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The US Geological Survey reported the depth was around 10km. The quake hit at around 8am local time.  Details on any injuries or major building damage are not available.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said in a statement: “Based on all available data, there is no tsunami threat from this earthquake.”

However, photos posted to Twitter by the Philippine Red Cross show some small buildings devastated by the quake.

Other images show roofs and walls collapsed. The account said damages and aftershocks are expected.

Twitter users quickly responded with reports of the quake, also pointing out the discrepancies in reports of magnitude, which range from 6.5 to 6.9.

A Twitter user said at around 7am local time: “A strong earthquake felt here in Sta. Margarita, Samar. People are out now.”

Another said: “Earthquake in Masbat and Samar – Mayon and Taal let out steam. Please be safe. Take care. God bless.”

One said: “Felt this in Cebu City. It woke me up.”

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The USGS has said there are a “significant” number of people living near areas at risk of earthquake liquefaction, which is defined as when loosely packed, water-logged sediments at or near the ground surface lose their strength in response to strong ground shaking.

It said: “Liquefaction occurring beneath buildings and other structures can cause major damage during earthquakes.”

PHICOLVS, have put the magnitude even lower at 6.5 at an extremely low depth of just one kilometre.

The quake narrowly avoided being 6.9 – the highest magnitude a ‘Strong’ earthquake can get on the Earthquake Magnitude Scale before it becomes classified as a ‘major’ event, according to Michigan Tech University.

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Even ‘strong’ quakes can cause a lot of damage, but major earthquakes can cause more serious devastation.

At the time of writing, the US Tsunami Warning System says there is no tsunami warning in place for the magnitude 6.9 quake, which hit the Philippines region of Samar in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The reports of the quakes were felt roughly time same time as reports of steam rising out the Taal Volcano, also in the Philippines.

The Philippines sits in the Pacific Ring of Fire – a long line of volcanoes located around the Pacific Ocean. Earthquakes are common within the huge geographical area it covers.

There are thought to be at least 450 volcanoes – active and dormant – making up the Ring of Fire.

It spans from the Philippines, up past Japan and across to North America and down to the south of the American continent.

There is so much volcanic and seismic activity in the Ring of Fire because of the movement of the Earth’s crust.

Specifically, the ring of fire is particularly active due to subduction, when one part of the Earth’s crust is forced under another.

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