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The Philippine historical earthquake catalog: its development, current state and future directions. By Maria Leonila P. Bautista and Bartolome C. Bautista Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Quezon City, Philippines

The Philippine historical earthquake catalog: its development, current state and future directions. By Maria Leonila P. Bautista and Bartolome C. Bautista Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Quezon City, Philippines

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Abstract: This report will trace the development of the historical earthquake catalog of the Philippines, assess its present state and recommend future research directions. The current Philippine historical earthquake catalog is culled from var- ious catalogs, both global and local, that were developed since the first Philippine catalog by Perrey was published in 1860. While early global catalogs gave simple mention of earthquakes in the Philippines, more focused earth- quake catalogs about the Philippines gave more explicit descriptions of earthquake accounts and adopted descrip- tions by local historians. Over the years, various historians and seismologists continued to compile their catalogs whose contents depended on the author’s perspectives and purposes. These works varied from simple listings to others including detailed descriptions. It was only recently that an attempt made to parameterize the magnitudes and epicenters of Philippine historical earthquakes using magnitude-felt area relations was done. A more detailed catalog, however, is now underway that will show details of intensity distribution for each significant historical earthquake. By comparing the historical catalog with the recent catalog and assuming that the recent catalog is complete, we find that there are still a substantial amount of historical earthquakes that needs to be reviewed and located. Possible sources of new information are local libraries, museums and archives in the Philippines, Spain and other Southeast Asian countries to which the country was in contact with during historical times.
Abstract: This report will trace the development of the historical earthquake catalog of the Philippines, assess its present state and recommend future research directions. The current Philippine historical earthquake catalog is culled from var- ious catalogs, both global and local, that were developed since the first Philippine catalog by Perrey was published in 1860. While early global catalogs gave simple mention of earthquakes in the Philippines, more focused earth- quake catalogs about the Philippines gave more explicit descriptions of earthquake accounts and adopted descrip- tions by local historians. Over the years, various historians and seismologists continued to compile their catalogs whose contents depended on the author’s perspectives and purposes. These works varied from simple listings to others including detailed descriptions. It was only recently that an attempt made to parameterize the magnitudes and epicenters of Philippine historical earthquakes using magnitude-felt area relations was done. A more detailed catalog, however, is now underway that will show details of intensity distribution for each significant historical earthquake. By comparing the historical catalog with the recent catalog and assuming that the recent catalog is complete, we find that there are still a substantial amount of historical earthquakes that needs to be reviewed and located. Possible sources of new information are local libraries, museums and archives in the Philippines, Spain and other Southeast Asian countries to which the country was in contact with during historical times.

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379
ANNALS OF GEOPHYSICS,VOL. 47,N. 2/3,April/June 2004
Key words
historical earthquake catalog – Philip- pine earthquakes seismic hazard assessment – archival documents – historical accounts
1. Introduction
Reliable seismic hazard studies depend onhaving a robust earthquake catalog. The longerthe extent of the catalog and the more reliablethe parameters are,the better it is for those do-ing seismic hazard analysis. There are twokinds of earthquake catalog:one is the instru-mental or recent catalog and the other is the his-torical catalog. In this study,instrumental or re-cent catalog refers to the time when seismicmonitoring existed while historical refers to thepre-instrumental period. In the Philippines,in-strumentally-derived parameters are availablefor events from 1892 onwards. The year 1892was selected because the first earthquake withinstrumentally derived parameters was deter-mined by Abe (1994) for an earthquake in 1892.The historical period for the case of the Philip-pines could be considered as covering the peri-od before 1892. Unlike other countries withlong earthquake histories and despite the
The Philippine historical earthquakecatalog:its development,current stateand future directions
Maria Leonila P. Bautista and Bartolome C. Bautista
Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), Department of Science and Technology (DOST),Quezon City,Philippines
Abstract
This report will trace the development of the historical earthquake catalog of the Philippines,assess its present stateand recommend future research directions. The current Philippine historical earthquake catalog is culled from var-ious catalogs,both global and local,that were developed since the first Philippine catalog by Perrey was publishedin 1860. While early global catalogs gave simple mention of earthquakes in the Philippines,more focused earth-quake catalogs about the Philippines gave more explicit descriptions of earthquake accounts and adopted descrip-tions by local historians. Over the years,various historians and seismologists continued to compile their catalogswhose contents depended on the author’s perspectives and purposes. These works varied from simple listings toothers including detailed descriptions. It was only recently that an attempt made to parameterize the magnitudesand epicenters of Philippine historical earthquakes using magnitude-felt area relations was done. A more detailedcatalog,however,is now underway that will show details of intensity distribution for each significant historicalearthquake. By comparing the historical catalog with the recent catalog and assuming that the recent catalog iscomplete,we find that there are still a substantial amount of historical earthquakes that needs to be reviewed andlocated. Possible sources of new information are local libraries,museums and archives in the Philippines,Spainand other Southeast Asian countries to which the country was in contact with during historical times.
 Mailing address
:Dr. Maria Leonila P. Bautista,Philip-pine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS),Department of Science and Technology (DOST),C.P. Gar-cia Avenue,UP Campus,Diliman 1100,Quezon City,Philippines; e-mail:leyo@phyvolcs.dost.gov.ph
 
380
Maria Leonila P. Bautista and Bartolome C. Bautista
Philippines being seismically active,the Philip-pine historical catalog is not that long comparedto other countries. The historical accounts onlystarted during the time when the country wasconquered by Spain in the late 15th century.This study will discuss the development of thehistorical earthquake catalog in the Philippines,assess its present state and recommend futuredirections.
2. Existing catalogs
The current Philippine historical earthquakecatalog is culled from various catalogs,bothglobal and local,that were developed since thefirst Philippine catalog by Perrey was publishedin 1860. Early global catalogs made simplemention of earthquakes in the Philippines.Meanwhile,catalogs that mainly focused on thePhilippines gave more explicit descriptions of earthquake accounts and adopted descriptionsby local historians.Over the years,various historians and seis-mologists kept on building their own catalogswhose contents varied depending on each au-thor’s perspective and purpose. For example,some authors would make simple listings of earthquakes while some would include detaileddescriptions. Some authors would only listtsunamigenic events. Others gave their own in-tensity estimates as well as drew their own iso-seismal maps. A recent work by Bautista andOike (2000) has parameterized the magnitudesand epicenters of well-described Philippine his-torical earthquakes using magnitude-felt arearelations.2.1.
Global earthquake catalogs
It was only when colonization of the Philip-pines started in the late 15th Century that earth-quakes affecting the country started to be no-ticed and documented. These earthquake cita-tions may be grouped into those cited in globalcatalogs while the other group belongs to thecountry-specific catalogs. Global earthquakecatalogs such as those made by von Hoff (1841),Mallet (1853,1854,1855) and Milne (1912)mentioned earthquakes about the Philippines.The work of von Hoff (1841),written in Ger-man,listed three earthquakes and three volcaniceruptions in the Philippines. Mallet’s workswere in English and among his references werethe works of De Guignes (1808),Garnier (1839)and articles from the Singapore Chronicle (1824,1829). Meanwhile,Milne (1912) listed 66Philippine historical earthquakes from 1589 to1909 in his catalog. His source is mainly thework of Maso (1895). More recently,Dunbar
et al.
(1992) listed epicenters,magnitudes anddamages attributable to Philippine earthquakesfrom 1599 to 1990. Meanwhile,some authorslisted tsunamigenic earthquakes only (Rudolf,1887; Heck,1947; Iida
et al.
,1967; Berning-hausen,1969; Cox,1970; Nakamura,1978). Re-viewing global data since 1616,Iida
et al.
(1967)listed 26 tsunamigenic earthquakes in the Philip-pines. They also listed the areas affected and es-timated heights based on descriptions. Berning-hausen (1969),meanwhile,listed tsunamis inSoutheast Asian region which included 29events in the Philippines. His database coveredthe period 416 to 1965. The various works of Abe (1981,1984,1994) and Abe and Noguchi(1983) especially their redetermination of themagnitudes by Gutenberg and Richter coveringthe early 20th century period helped to improvethe earthquake data in the Philippines includingthose during the 1892 to 1900 period.
2.2.
Country-focused historical earthquakecatalogs:Philippines
While the earliest earthquake reported forthe Philippines was the one which happened in1589,the first known country-focused earth-quake catalog for the Philippines is the work of Perrey (1860) which was in French. This cata-log described both earthquakes and volcaniceruptions in the Philippines from the 15th to18th centuries starting with an earthquake in1601. His sources included various Europeantravellers in Asia who wrote books,chroniclesor accounts of their travels. Despite exaggera-tions and misquoted names of places,Perrey’swork became one of the most referred to earth-quake catalog for the Philippines.
 
381
The Philippine historical earthquake catalog:its development,current state and future directions
The creation of the Manila Observatory in1865 paved the way for the systematic collectionof earthquake reports in the country. Maso,a re-searcher at the Manila Observatory,published anearthquake catalog in 1895 written in Spanish.His work could be considered the first attempt todocument the historical accounts made by Span-ish priests about earthquakes affecting their local-ities. His work is more comprehensive than that of Perrey,although the main difference is that it dealtexclusively with earthquakes and excluded vol-canic activities. His work also included the obser-vations of the Manila Observatory and its variousstations in the provinces. In addition,Maso alsodrew isoseismal maps of selected large earth-quakes using the Manila Observatory IntensityScale of I to VI (table I). Later,culling much fromthe work of Maso,Algue (1900),who was alsofrom the Manila Observatory,published his owncatalog covering the period 1870 to 1897.
In 1901,after the Spanish conquerors hadleft the country,the new American governmentreorganized the Manila Observatory and creat-ed a Philippine Weather Bureau. Aside fromweather monitoring and forecasting,the Bureaualso conducted seismic monitoring. Maso con-tinued on his compilation and updating of earthquake events and published several cata-logs (Maso,1909; 1927,Maso and Smith,1919). The 1895 and 1927 Maso catalogs havebasically the same contents except that the 1927version only contained the damaging events. In1928,Fr. William Repetti joined the ManilaObservatory and the Philippine Weather Bu-reau. He was placed in charge of all seismolog-ical stations in the Philippines. He was Chief of the Section of Seismology and Terrestrial Mag-netism of the Philippine Weather Bureau formore than a decade. In 1946,Repetti publishedthe most comprehensive historical catalog of the Philippines covering the period 1589 to1899. Repetti translated various accounts writ-ten in various languages into English. Repetti’swork included the results of Perrey and Masoand at the same time included other accountsculled from history books,bulletins,letters andnewspaper articles.After World War II,the Weather Bureau wasreorganized into the Philippine Atmospheric,Geophysical,Astronomical and Services Ad-ministration (PAGASA). In 1982,the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) of theUnited States Agency for International Devel-opment (USAID) undertook a project called«Seismic Data Gathering,Southeast Asia».
This project was undertaken under the auspices of the Southeast Asia Association on Seismologyand Earthquake Engineering or SEASEE. Amongthe projects of SEASEE is an earthquake catalogpublished in 1985 that compiled Repetti’s histori-cal data,instrumental data from the Manila Ob-servatory and PAGASA(1976) as well as reportsof investigations of earthquakes from 1950 to1983 (SEASEE,1985). Aside from these,theSEASEE catalog also included earthquake datadetermined for the Philippines by Gutenberg andRichter (1954),Gutenberg (1956),by the Interna-tional Seismological Centre (ISC) and the U.S.Geological Survey (USGS).
The SEASEE catalog was divided into eightchapters:i) Catalogue of Philippine Earth-quakes 1589-1864; ii) Catalogue of PhilippineEarthquakes 1865-1899; iii) Catalogue of Philippine Earthquakes 1901-1942; iv) Cata-logue of Philippine Earthquakes 1948-1983;v) Catalogue of Destructive Earthquakes1589-1983; vi) Assessment of Seismic Intensi-ty of Philippine Historical Earthquakes;vii) Seismic Source Zones of the Philippines,and viii) Seismotectonics of the Philippines.The result is an 843-page compilation of earth-quakes from 1589 to 1983.
Although some of these previous works,in-cluding the SEASEE catalog,estimated epicen-
Table I.
Manila Observatory Intensity Scale (afterSEASEE,1985).IntensityDescriptionIPerceptibleIILightIIIRegularIVStrongVViolentVIDestructive

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