Mindanao Earthquake Updates 2019


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Photo: Online Indus | Magnitude 6.6 earthquake jolts south Philippines, no injuries reported

Mindanao is in the southern part of the Philippines. On this island you can find Cotabato, Bukidnun, Davao, Cagayan de Oro and other known places and provinces of the country. But these days, Mindanao, especially North Cotabato and Bukidnun, is in desperate need for assistance after 3 consecutive earthquakes with the magnitude of more than 6 shook them last October 16, 29, and October 31, 2019. Bukidnun on the other hand has just followed the fate (thankfully not as bad as Makilala and Kidapawan) just recently, on November 18, 2019, Monday. This time it only has small difference in magnitude but however, if also caused damages and even shook nearby provinces including Davao City. According to Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology or PHIVOLCS, the more than 6 magnitude earthquake which hit North Cotabato last October 16, 29 and 31, along with series of lesser tremors, were caused by faults in the region that are interconnected. The number of victims and displaced are increasing and as of now the Philippine government is still doing the assessment, claiming that many of these people might possibly need to stay in the evacuation centres for at least one year.

Photo: ReliefWeb.Int

Magnitude 5.9 hits Bukidnun on the eve of November 18, 2019

Now the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSDW) along with other government agencies still continue its assessment in some places of Bukidnon, particularly in Kadingilan and other nearby areas including Maramag, due to another earthquake that has a magnitude of 5.9 which hit during the evening of November 18, Monday. As of now there has been more than a hundred houses reported to be damaged and many important public facilities were also slightly destroyed and there are even few cases of serious injuries and hospitalization. Some residents decided to set up tents in open spaces or outside their houses for safety while some are currently staying at basketball courts as evacuation areas due to the threat of aftershocks and further damages of their homes. For many, instead of risking with the danger of falling debris, they would prefer staying at these places as of the moment for safety. Schools, health centres, government buildings, and public transport terminals were also damaged by the earthquake. In a place called Don Carlos, around more than 100 patients of Don Carlos Doctors Hospital were temporarily placed in a gymnasium for their safety due to the condition of the hospital building. The earthquake of this night also hit Davao City.  

The uncertain cause

According to “earthquake report” website, still there are so-called moderate tremors being felt every now and then in Mindanao. Let’s just hope that nothing strong will strike again and that all the victims can recover fast. However, many experts are still uncertain about the cause why such happenings occur in a somewhat remarkable and even strange way. It’s because these consecutive tremors in Mindanao were different from the usual ones. According to Dr. Mario Aurelio, Director of the National Institute of Geological Sciences at the University of the Philippines, it is peculiar that these earthquakes were in magnitudes that are almost the same (6 something) that is why it is requires more investigation from them. Usually, when you have strong ones, 7 magnitude for example, most probably the following aftershocks will be 6, one magnitude lesser. This is typical. Yet, for these phenomena in Mindanao, the tremors which followed cannot be considered aftershocks. As of the moment, Dr. Aurelio and his team think this is because these are series of faults almost simultaneously moving or possibly triggering each other. According to Aurelio also, there are many faults in Cotabato but as of now there are around 5 being looked at so that experts could possibly predict which location (not the schedule/date/time) will be the next quake could happen using calculations and other geo-mapping systems. 

More updates here:

The Philippines is part of the pacific ring of fire where volcanoes are found and being surrounded by many active faults, trenches, and epicentres, the surface which the focus of the quake occurs. One of the longest faults is around 1,200 kilometres which runs from northern Luzon to eastern Mindanao. There are also called hidden faults, which only manifested on the surface after it occurred; meaning these are usually unpredictable tremors. Hidden fault is the cause of the ones that occurred in central Luzon (6.1 magnitude – April 2019) and in Bohol (7.2 magnitude – 2013). Both earthquakes left many structures damaged and victims badly injured. 

As of now many organizations, both government and non-government, are appealing to the international community to help in rebuilding these seriously damaged areas, Makilala, Tulunan, Kidapawan, and Bukidnun. If you want to choose which organizations you want to help with by donating, please check out these links and choose the ones you’d like to support:

  • https://www.uca.news/2019/11/01/interfaith-aid-group-swings-into-action-to-help-quake-hit-mindanao-areas/
  • https://www.rappler.com/move-ph/issues/disasters/243742-how-to-help-affected-communities-mindanao-earthquake-october-2019
  • https://reliefweb.int/disaster/eq-2019-000140-phl

References:

Bukidnun earthquake

  • https://news.abs-cbn.com/video/news/11/20/19/higit-100-bahay-nasira-sa-lindol-sa-bukidnon

Earthquake monitoring

  • https://earthquake-report.com/2019/11/20/moderate-earthquake-mindanao-philippines-november-20-2019/

What’s behind the series of strong quakes in Mindanao?

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5vZChm9rps

SONA: PHIVOLCS: Hidden fault, sanhi ng magnitude 6.1 na lindol sa Central Luzon noong isang linggo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Phm1nPRQh-Q

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Alter Picar

Alter Picar is a writer, translator, self-published author, songwriter / musician, community worker, non-profit organization manager (volunteer), mental health advocate / educator, librarian, and organic gardener.

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