GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 16 Oct) – The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has cleared the city and other nearby areas of any major active fault lines that might later trigger possible damaging earthquakes.
Nani Danlag, officer-in-charge of the Phivolcs station here, said in a radio interview on Wednesday that the nearest active fault lines in the area are located in mountainous portions or spots and none of them are directly traversing any key urban or populated locality.
She said the active fault lines are specifically located in the upland areas of Maasim town in Sarangani, Tacurong City in Sultan Kudarat and portions of the Daguma mountain range.
The fault lines, which are mainly breaks or fractures in the ground that occurs when the Earth’s tectonic plates move or shift and are areas where earthquakes are likely to occur, are part of the Mindanao Fault, she said.
“Our urban centers are not directly under any fault line so most of the major earthquakes that we experienced in the past years mainly affected the peripheral areas,” she said.
But she clarified that the absence of major active fault line in an area could mean that it could be spared from damaging earthquakes as what happened to some areas in Bohol and Cebu provinces on Tuesday morning.
She said earthquakes have remained unpredictable and their impact could also be intense even in areas outside or not directly hit by the fault lines.
“It’s important for us to be always prepared for any eventuality and we can do that by participating in earthquake drills and related activities,” she said.
Bohol and Cebu were rocked by a 7.2-magnitude earthquake at 8:12 a.m. on Tuesday that already left 120 people dead and thousands others injured.
The temblor, whose epicenter was traced two kilometers southeast of Carmen in Bohol, damaged various structures, among them centuries-old churches and edifices.
The tectonic quake was felt at intensity 7 in Bohol, Cebu and Siquijor. It was measured at intensity 4 in parts of Northern Mindanao.
Meantime, as to possible volcanic-related earthquakes, Danlag said the area has two active volcanoes but none of them have exhibited signs of activity so far.
The area’s active volcanoes are Mt. Matutum in Polomolok and Tupi towns as well as Mt. Melebingoy (formerly Parker) in T’boli town, all in South Cotabato.