The worst is not over as Nepal was rocked by another 7.3 magnitude earthquake in less than 3 weeks after the first 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck. The quake has killed more than 8,000 people and injured almost 2,000 as of May 14.
A 6.8 magnitude earthquake also struck off the coast of Japan earlier this week. Thankfully, the quake didn’t cause any injuries or damage. However, this was considered to be an aftershock of the devastating 2011 earthquake that triggered a massive tsunami in the country.
Just last May 13, a magnitude 4.5 earthquake hit Catanduanes. Also, no damages and injuries were reported. Do note that the Philippines has been rocked by 6.0 magnitude earthquakes 106 times since the 1600s. This is due to the fact that the country is located in the “Pacific Ring of Fire.” This is an area where 90% of the world’s volcanoes are located, and where continuous plate movement takes place.
PHILVOLCS director Renato Solidum advised organizations and local officials to create efforts to lessen damages and casualties should a 7.2 magnitude quake hit Metro Manila. He explained that a movement in the West Valley Fault can easily damage 100,000 residential buildings.
Given that our country is prone to earthquakes, it’s best to be prepared and informed should another devastating scenario occur.
The earth has 4 layers: the outer core, inner core, mantle and crust. The crust and the top of the mantle (the earth’s outer shell) are composed of many pieces, and they constantly move around, sliding and bumping into one another. These pieces are called tectonic plates and the edges of these plates are called plate boundaries. According to the United States Geological Survey, “The plate boundaries are made up of many faults, and most of the earthquakes around the world occur on these faults. Since the edges of the plates are rough, they get stuck while the rest of the plate keeps moving. Finally, when the plate has moved far enough, the edges unstick on one of the faults and there is an earthquake.” As these plates move, seismic waves shake the earth, all the way to the earth’s surface.
7. Can scientists predict earthquakes?
6. The strongest earthquake in the Philippines was in 1897.
Meanwhile, the strongest earthquake ever recorded in the world was in 1960 in Valdivia, Chile with a whopping 9.5 magnitude. The deadliest earthquake on record was an 8.0 magnitude earthquake in 1556 in Shaanxi, China, killing over 830,000 people.
In the event of an earthquake:
5. Don’t panic.
4. Crawl under sturdy or heavy furniture.
Here’s what you should do after an earthquake:
3. Check water, gas, and electric lines for damage.
Shut off valves immediately when damaged. If you smell gas, open the window and leave the building immediately. Don’t use matches, candles, or any open flame.
2. Check yourself and others for injuries
1. Before an earthquake
Remember, disaster preparedness is everyone’s business.