An undersea earthquake with a magnitude of 6.7 struck the southern Philippines this past Friday. The earthquake, which occurred at approximately 4:14 p.m. local time, originated off the southern coast of the Philippines, about 17 miles southwest of Burias and approximately 65 miles southeast of Koronadal. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) confirmed the seismic event, which was measured at a depth of around 37 miles.
The USGS reported that the region experienced noticeable shaking, and there is an expected moderate to heavy damage as a result of the earthquake. While no casualties have been reported at this time, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) warns of potential damage and aftershocks in the affected areas.
Residents of General Santos City witnessed the impact of the earthquake as a collapsed roof was captured in images taken after the tremor. PHIVOLCS director Teresito Bacolcol, speaking to DZRH radio, described the earthquake’s intensity as “destructive,” indicating that damage is likely.
The Southern Philippines is an area prone to seismic activity due to its location along the Pacific Ring of Fire, a region noted for its numerous earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The Philippines sits on the boundary between two tectonic plates, the Philippine Sea plate and the Eurasian plate, causing a high level of tectonic stress.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: What is an earthquake?
A: An earthquake is a sudden and violent shaking of the ground caused by the movement of tectonic plates beneath the Earth’s surface.
Q: What is the Pacific Ring of Fire?
A: The Pacific Ring of Fire is a major area around the Pacific Ocean characterized by a high level of seismic and volcanic activity. It is where many of the world’s earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur.
Q: How is earthquake magnitude measured?
A: Earthquake magnitude is measured using the Richter scale or moment magnitude scale. These scales quantify the amount of energy released during an earthquake.
Q: How do aftershocks occur?
A: Aftershocks are smaller earthquakes that follow the main shock of an earthquake. They occur as the Earth’s crust adjusts to the changes caused by the initial seismic event.
Sources: USGS (https://www.usgs.gov/), PHIVOLCS (https://www.phivolcs.dost.gov.ph/)