Earthquake hits Batangas not a prelude to “Big One”

MANILA, Philippines — There is no relation between the current earthquake swarm in Batangas and the feared movement of the West Valley Fault that can bring about extensive damage in Metro Manila, the top state seismologist said.

quake batangas
Earthquake hit the Netanya Resort in Mabini, Batangas

Renato Solidum Jr, director of Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, said that there is no known reason for the series of earthquakes in Batangas last week except for movement in a fault system in the region. The quakes jolted close-by areas including Metro Manila.

“The faults or the earthquakes that have been happening all over the Philippines are related to faults in the area but the fault in Batangas and other areas are not connected at all to the West Vallley Fault so there will be no basis for saying that these earthquakes are precursors to the big earthquake in Metro Manila,” Solidum told ANC on Monday.

Referring to quakes in the Visayas area on Monday morning, Solidum said they don’t originate from the Batangas quakes.

“It could just mean that faults are moving, it does not mean anything in a sense of a pattern,” he said.

Solidum and his office have been cautioning the public about a damaging 7.2 magnitude earthquake produced by a movement of the West Valley Fault seen to affect the capital area. Nicknamed the “Big One,” the Metro Manila quake—like all other earthquakes—cannot be anticipated or determined yet but based on historical data; it is expected to occur over within the century.

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An earthquake swarm which recently affected Batangas, meanwhile, may even extend to the following few days or week. Two earthquakes struck the area on April 4 and April 8, both followed by hundreds of aftershocks.

Solidum said that Phivolcs is closely observing the Batangas swarm for indications of tapering off.

“Essentially people are advised to just be prepared in case there are strong shocks to the precautionary measures that they are protected in case stronger earthquakes happen,” he said.