Phivolcs finds ground rupture in quake-hit Leyte

residents gather by a road damaged by the quake
WAITING FOR REPAIRS. Residents gather by a road damaged by the quake. Photo by Gelo Litonjua

The magnitude-6.5 earthquake in Leyte is generated by the movement of the Leyte Segment of the Philippine Fault

MANILA, Philippines (Jul. 9, 2017) — The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) found the ground rupture caused by the magnitude-6.5 earthquake that hit Leyte province on Thursday, July 6.

“This afternoon, I got a report that indeed the ground rupture was found in Barangay Tongonan in Ormoc. Of course, it’s the epicenter area,” Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Undersecretary Renato Solidum Jr told Rappler on the sidelines of the Agos Summit on Disaster Preparedness on Saturday, July 8.

Solidum is the officer in charge of Phivolcs.

Earlier, the epicenter of the earthquake that left at least two people dead and more than a hundred injured was located 15.5 kilometers northeast of Ormoc City with a focal depth of two kilometers.

earthquake epicenter
EPICENTER. The epicenter of the earthquake that left at least two people dead and over a hundred injured was located 15.5 kilometers northeast of Ormoc City with a focal depth of two kilometers. Image courtesy of Phivolcs

Phivolcs is still determining the extent of the ground rupture, but with the magnitude of the earthquake, it could stretch about 20 kilometers across the area, according to Solidum.

The earthquake was generated by the movement of what Phivolcs has recently called the Leyte Segment of the Philippine Fault.

According to Phivolcs, Eastern Visayas, including Leyte, is one of the seismically active areas in the country because of the Philippine Fault and the Philippine Trench, the main earthquake generators that can affect the area. Other local faults are potential causes of small- to large-magnitude earthquakes.

Aftershocks

Phivolcs has deployed a 25-member team of experts to Leyte not only to find the ground rupture but also to conduct Global Positioning System (GPS) monitoring of coastal and fault movements and associated earthquake hazards.

The seismic monitoring network of Phivolcs has already recorded nearly 500 aftershocks since the strong earthquake struck.

“More aftershocks – most of which were felt during the first day – were felt in the area. Since then, aftershocks have slightly decreased,” Solidum said in a mix of English and Filipino.

Affected residents should have their houses assessed by authorities before they could return to their homes, Solidum said.

In his speech at the Agos Summit, Solidum shared other steps toward disaster preparedness.


by Voltaire Tupaz | Rappler.com