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TOP TEN MAJOR EARTHQUAKES IN THE PHILIPPINES

1. 1948 Panay(Lady Caycay) Earthquake


Magnitude: 8.2
The 1948 Lady Caycay earthquake occurred with a surface wave magnitude of 8.2 at 01:46 PHT on
25 January 1948. The epicenter was between the municipalities of Anini-y, Antique and Dao (present-day
Tobias Fornier in Antique) on Panay Island, Philippines. However, accounts of its intensity and the tsunamis
it generated are sparse, possibly because the earthquake struck as the Philippines was recovering from the
effects of the Second World War.
Effects
Jos Mara Cuenco, the Bishop of Jaro, estimated that the damage to 15 churches destroyed on Panay alone
amounted to 7,000,000.
Aklan Province
Ibajay Bridge and Kalibo Bridge, which were the two of the biggest bridges in Panay, sustained damage.
Capiz Province
The Immaculate Conception Metropolitan Cathedral in Capiz (now Roxas City) was reported to have been
damaged by the earthquake.
Iloilo Province
Most of the significant damage was found in the Iloilo province, specifically to extant Spanish-era churches.
Bridges, communication lines, as well as public and private buildings all sustained heavy damage.
Tsunami
Local accounts have pointed to a 2-metre high wave that was seen after the earthquake. Fish corals
from the Iloilo shore towns of Oton to San Joaquin were destroyed by tsunami. Damage was estimated to be
at 250,000. The waves did not move inward thereby sparing more damage to life and property.

2. The 1976 Moro Gulf earthquake and tsunami


Magnitude: 8.0
A magnitude 8.0 earthquake took place near Mindanao and Sulu a little past midnight of August 17,
1976 that was felt as far as Visayas. It was then followed by a massive 4 to 5 meters high tsunami covering
700 kilometers of coastline bordering the island. Because it was dark, the people were caught by the raging
water which claimed 8,000 lives, injuring 10,000, and leaving 90,000 more, homeless. This Mindanao
earthquake is considered the strongest and dealiest earthquake in Philipine History.
Tectonic summary
Several fault zones in the region are capable of producing major earthquakes and destructive local
tsunamis. The two major fault zones that are most dangerous are the Sulu Trench in the Sulu Sea and the
Cotabato Trench, a region of subduction that crosses the Celebes Sea and the Moro Gulf in Southern
Mindanao.
Effects
The initial earthquake was widespread and was felt as far as the central Philippine islands of the
Visayas. A massive tsunami devastated 700 kilometers of coastline bordering the Moro Gulf in the
North Celebes Sea, resulting in destruction and death in the coastal communities of the Sulu
Archipelago and southern Mindanao, including Zamboanga City and Pagadian City. Some reports
say that as many as 8,000 people lost their lives in total, with ninety percent of all deaths the result
of the following tsunami

3. Earthquake in Northern and Central Luzon(1990)


Magnitude: 7.8

At around 4:26pm of July 16, 1990, one of the strongest earthquakes to ever struck the country occurred
in several areas of Central Luzon and Cordillera Region. The shock had a surface wave magnitude of 7.8
and produced a 125 km-long ground rupture that stretched from Dingalan, Aurora to Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija.
The event was a result of strike-slip movements along the Philippine Fault and the Digdig Fault within the
Philippine Fault System. The earthquake's epicenter was near the town of Rizal, Nueva Ecija, northeast of
Cabanatuan City. A total of 1, 621 people died and at least 10-billion worth of damages to public and private
properties was reported after a the earthquake.
Impact
The earthquake caused damage within an area of about 20,000 square kilometers, stretching from the
mountains of the Cordillera Administrative Region and through the Central Luzon region. The earthquake
was strongly felt in Metropolitan Manila, destroying many buildings and leading to panic and stampedes.
Baguio City
Hyatt Terraces Plaza, Nevada Hotel, Baguio Hilltop Hotel, Baguio Park Hotel, and FRB Hotel, all in
Baguio collapsed trapping and burying people alive. Although the epicenter was recorded in Nueva Ecija, it
caused more damage in the City of Pines.
Cabanatuan City
In Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija, the tallest building in the city, a six-story concrete school building
housing the Christian College of the Philippines, collapsed during the earthquake, which occurred during
school hours. Around 154 people were killed at the CCP building. The city suffered about 363 casualties,
(including 274 who were trapped ), with 154 of them dead.
Dagupan City
In Dagupan City, about 90 buildings in the city were damaged, and about 20 collapsed. Some structures
sustained damage because liquefaction caused buildings to sink as much as 1 metre (39 inches). The city
suffered 64 casualties of which 47 survived and 17 died.
La Union
Five municipalities in La Union were affected: Agoo, Aringay, Caba, Santo Tomas, and Tubao with a
combined population of 132,208. Many buildings, including the Museo de Iloko and the Basilica Minore of
our Lady of Charity, collapsed or were severely damaged. 100,000 families were displaced when two coastal
villages sank due to liquefaction.

4. 2012 Samar Earthquake


Magnitude: 7.6
An earthquake off the coast of Samar occurred on August 31, 2012, at 20:47 local time in the Philippines.
The populated islands of Visayas were struck by an earthquake of magnitude Mw 7.6. The earthquake has
a depth of 34.9 km (21.7 miles). A tsunami warning was announced within the Pacific area and was later
lifted after two hours.
This earthquake was an intraplate earthquake greater than 50 kilometers to the east of the boundary of
the Philippine Sea Plate. This earthquake was unusual in that it occurred as a result of reverse faulting within
the oceanic lithosphere of the Philippine Sea Plate.
Tsunami
PHIVOLCS gave a level three tsunami alert in the Philippines and Other institutes gave a level three
tsunami alert in Japan, Indonesia, Taiwan, Palau indicating that the public should be on watch for "unusual
waves", but did not call for any evacuation. About an hour after the quake, sea level readings from gauges
in the epicentral region confirmed that a tsunami had been generated. A small 3 cm (1.2 in) wave was
recorded at Legazpi in Albay province shortly thereafter, as well as further south near Davao City; slight sea
level anomalies were observed in several other locations.

5. 1645 Luzon Earthquake


Magnitude: 7.5

The magnitude 7.5 earthquake that crushed Luzon on November 30, 1645 at about 8:00 pm was
called the most terrible earthquake in Philippines history. The Epicenter of the said quake was in
Nueva Ecija caused by the San Manuel and Gabaldon Faults.
The extent of the tremor was felt as far as Cagayan Valley. It has caused many landslides which
buried many people alive and destroyed many buildings and churches including Manila Cathedral.
That time, only Spanish are counted so the recorded number of casualties was only 600 while the
injured was 3,000.
Aftershocks continued a few days, then on December 4 at 11:00 pm, another event (allegedly equal
or stronger than Nov. 30) hit the area, causing further death and destruction.

6. 2002 Mindanao Earthquake


Magnitude: 7.5
A magnitude 7.5 earthquake resulted to the death of 15 people and injuring around a hundred more in
Central and Southern Mindanao on March 5, 2002.
The said quake originated near the Cotabato Trench, a zone of deformation situated between the
Philippine Sea Plate and the Sunda Plate, that was followed by a tsunami. But it was the flood that was
generated by landslides and falling debris that caused damage to an estimated 800 buildings.
Damage and casualties
Killing 15 and injuring roughly 100, the earthquake damaged as many as 800 buildings throughout
the southern and central parts of Mindanao. It spawned landslides in South Cotabato Province
which flowed through the crater lake on Mount Parker, creating a widespread flood. It also created
local tsunamis reaching a maximum height of 3 meters (10 ft) at Kiamba, Maitum and Palimbang.

7. 1968 Casiguran Earthquake


Magnitude: 7.3
Most of the people in Casiguran, Aurora was still fast asleep when a magnitude 7.3 earthquake and a
maximum Mercalli intensity of IX(violent) struck at 4:19 a.m. of August 2, 1968. The thrust earthquakes
epicenter was in Casiguran, Quezon(now part of Aurora province). A small non-destructive tsunami was
generated. And the City of Manila got the most severe damage.
The said event was also called the Ruby Tower earthquake after the said six-story building located in
Binondo collapsed, and caused the death of 260 people. A total of 268 people died that day and 261 more
were injured.
Damage
In Manila, many structures that suffered severe damage had been built near the mouth of the Pasig
River on huge alluvial deposits. Several hundred people died during the collapse of the six storey Ruby
Tower, located in the district of Binondo. Around the town of Casiguran, there were several reports of
landslides, the most destructive one at Casiguran Bay.

8. 2013 Bohol Earthquake


Magnitude: 7.2
The 2013 Bohol earthquake occurred on 15 October at 8:12:32 PST in Bohol, an island province located
in Central Visayas, Philippines. The magnitude of the earthquake was recorded at Mw 7.2, with epicenter 6
kilometres (3.7 mi) S 24 W of Sagbayan, and its depth of focus was 12 kilometres (7.5 mi). It affected the
whole Central Visayas region, particularly Bohol and Cebu. The quake was felt in the whole Visayas area
and as far as Masbate island in the north and Cotabato provinces in southern Mindanao.

According to official reports by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council
(NDRRMC), 222 were reported dead, 8 were missing, and 976 people were injured. In all, more than 73,000
structures were damaged, of which more than 14,500 were totally destroyed.
It was the deadliest earthquake in the Philippines in 23 years since the 1990 Luzon earthquake. The
energy released by the quake was equivalent to 32 Hiroshima bombs. Previously, Bohol was also hit by an
earthquake on 8 February 1990 that damaged several buildings and caused a tsunami.
Casualties and infrastructure damage
A total of 2.25 billion worth of damage to public buildings, roads, bridges, and flood controls was
reported in Bohol and Cebu. A total of 671,103 families or more than 3.2 million people were affected by the
quake. Out of the total number of affected, 71,822 families or more than 348,000 people were displaced.

9. Mindoro Earthquake(1994)
Magnitude: 7.1
November 15, 1994, at around 3:15 a.m., a magnitude 7.1 earthquake rocked Mindoro. It is associated
with a 35 kilometer-long ground rupture, called the Aglubang River fault. A gigantic 8.5 meters (28 ft) tsunami
then followed.
A total of 7,566 houses were washed out and 78 people died because of that tragedy. The epicenter of
this earthquake was located in the Verde Island Passage, a strait separating Luzon and Mindoro. The focal
mechanism showed predominantly right-lateral strike-slip faulting.The released seismic moment was about
5.121019 Nm.
Tsunami
The earthquake generated a tsunami, which affected Mindoro, the Verde Island, the Baco Islands, and
Luzon. Some concrete structures also suffered moderate damage in the tsunami. In Baco Islands, the vertical
run-up reached 8.5 meters (28 ft). The tsunami was also recorded in Lobo. The tsunami was larger than
expected considering the strike-slip movement of the earthquake.
10. 1973 Ragay Gulf Earthquake
Magnitude: 7.0
The town of Calauag, Quezon was the most devastated during the 1973 Ragay Gulf Earthquake.
Date: March 17, 1973
Epicenter: Ragay Gulf
Damages: 98 houses destroyed and damaged 270 more
Affected areas: Quezon province
Summary of Damages:
The town worst hit by the earthquake is Calauag, Quezon where 98 houses were totally destroyed and
270 others were partially destroyed. In barrio Sumulong of the same town, 70% of the school buildings were
damaged. Most of the partially to completely destroyed houses and buildings were situated along the
seashore in the northern section of the town proper.
Features and Effects Related to Faulting
The most interesting feature in this earthquake was the remarkable extent of faulting. The farthest
observable fault trace from the epicenter is 90 kms. away in the coastal barrio of Sumulong, Calauag. Ground
breakages were seen along the segment of the Philippine Fault, from the western coast of Ragay Gulf to
Calauag Bay, a stretch of about 30 kms.