Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Magnitude 5.9 quake rocks Cotabato

source: philstar.com

COTABATO CITY, Philippines – A magnitude 5.9 earthquake rocked Cotabato City and its environs yesterday afternoon as aftershocks of last Friday’s magnitude 7.6 quake continued to be felt in the Visayas and Mindanao.

There were no reports of casualties or property damage.

Renier Amilbajar, seismologist of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) Cotabato station, said the quake was tectonic in origin and was traced to the Cotabato trench.

Amilbajar said the epicenter was located 59 kilometers southwest of Cotabato City and struck at around 2:49 p.m.

The magnitude 5.9 earthquake was located in the Celebes Sea, 67 kilometers (42 miles) west of Palimbang town on the southern island of Mindanao, Phivolcs said.

It was felt at intensity 4 in Cotabato City; intensity 3 in Datu Unsay and Datu Hoffer, Maguindanao; intensity 2 in Zamboanga City, Kidapawan and Isulan, Sultan Kudarat.

The latest quake, which struck at a depth of 36 kilometers, was not related to the magnitude 7.6 quake that hit Eastern Samar late Friday, Phivolcs chief Renato Solidum said.

“The origin was tectonic and due to the movement of the earth’s plate,” Amilbajar explained.

The 5.9 earthquake set objects swaying in nearby cities but was not expected to cause any serious damage.

“No casualty was reported so far,” Amilbajar said.

Amilbajar reminded residents not to fire their guns during major earthquakes “because it will not stop the tremor and would cause injuries to people.”

As of noon yesterday, Phivolcs has recorded 393 aftershocks following the magnitude 7.6 earthquake in some parts of the Visayas and Mindanao since Aug. 31.

A magnitude 5.4 aftershock also struck 67 kilometers northeast of Burgos, Surigao del Norte yesterday. It was recorded at 10:14 a.m. and was felt at intensity 1 in Surigao City.

Solidum earlier warned that the strong earthquake could be followed by series of aftershocks, which could last for weeks and possibly months.

The Phivolcs chief appealed to the public not to let their guard down, saying there is always a possibility other parts of the Philippine Trench may move.

The Philippines is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, with an average of 20 typhoons battering the island nation every year.

source: philstar.com

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