July 2010


An early 7.3 magnitude earthquake awakens the southern parts of the Philippines. The tremor had an epicenter at 100 kilometers southwest of Cotabato or at 120 south of Pagadian. A depth of 604.5 kilometers was recorded by both the US Geological Survey and the Philippines institute of Volcanology and Seismology at 6:08 in the morning.

Another earthquake was recorded at 6:19 a.m. This time it’s rated at 5.4 magnitude and 594.8 kilometers depth with 95 kilometers west southwest of Cotabato or 115 kilometers south of Pagadian epicenter.

USGS recorded a third quake with a magnitude at 7.6 by 6:51 a.m. Its epicenter was 115 kilometers southwest of Cotabato or 145 kilometers south of Pagadian. The tremor has a depth of 576.3 kilometers. Phivolcs, on the other hand, recorded this third quake at a magnitude of 6.8 a minute later.

The fourth quake was recorded by the USGS at 7:15 a.m. with a magnitude of 7.4 but Philvocs at 6.7. The epicenter was estimated 120 kilometers south or Pagadian or 120 kilometers west south west of Cotabato with a depth of 616.7 kilometers.

An aftershock was felt late, at 8:50 a.m., with a magnitude of 4.9 and estimated epicenter of 100 kilometers southwest of Cotabato or 142 kilometers south of Pagadian. Another aftershock rocked the south by 9:44 a.m. with an estimated 91 kilometers southwest of Cotabato or 136 kilometers south Pagadian. It has a depth of 592.2 kilometers.

The series of quakes were also felt as far as the Bicol Region in Luzon and the metropolitan Manila. Phivolcs director Renato Solidum explained that the depth of an earthquake affects the area where it is felt. The deeper the epicenter is, the larger the area it reaches because the depth amplifies it. Also, deep epicenter earthquakes are usually none damaging because the shakings often diminish at the surface but strongly felt nonetheless. These series of earthquakes, he reports, as effects of Molucca sea plate and Mindanao Island movements. It should be remembered that the Philippines is one of the countries sitting on the Pacific Ring of Fire and thus, frequent seismic and volcanic activities can be felt.

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