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2012 Visayas earthquake

2012 Visayas earthquake


February 6, 2012

Origin time

11:49:16 PST


6.7 Mw


11 km




N 123.246E

Areas affected Philippines

Total damage

Structural collapse, landslides

Max. intensity PEIS VII (Destructive)[1]





1600+ (as of February 7, 2012,

7:45 PST)[2]


51 dead[3][4]
112 injured
62 missing

The 2012 Visayas earthquake occurred on February 6 at 11:49 PST with a moment
magnitude of 6.7 and a maximum intensity of VII (Destructive) off the coast of Negros
Oriental, Philippines. The epicenter of the undersea blind thrust earthquake was
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. [10]
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.

Tsunami warning
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 erupts 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

USGS ShakeMap

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
citiesand 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 likely to be destroyed. A total of three roads and ten bridges were destroyed. 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

Among the properties destroyed by the earthquake are the public market and the courthouse
of Guihulngan. The Aglipay Church in La Libertad also collapsed.