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At least 8 people killed, dozens injured after series of strong earthquakes hit Batanes Islands, Philippines

batanes-itbayat-philippines-earthquakes-july-2019

Series of strong earthquakes hit Batanes, the Philippines on July 26 and 27, 2019, leaving at least 8 people dead and dozens injured. 

The series started with M4.2 (PHIVOLCS) at 04:13 PHT, July 26, followed by M2.8 at 19:17, M2.4 at 22:13, M5.4 at 04:16 PHT, July 27, M5.9 at 07:37 (the strongest so far) and 18 subsequent quakes with magnitudes ranging from 1.7 to 5.8 over the next 12 hours.

The epicenters of all but M5.4 at 04:16 were located about 14 km (8.7 miles) E of Itbayat, Batanes (population 2 867). M5.4 struck northern parts of Itbayat island and is the primary cause for damage and deaths.

Earthquakes in Batanes registered by EMSC on July 26 and 27, 2019. Credit: Google, TW/SAM

Earthquakes in Batanes registered by EMSC on July 26 and 27, 2019. Credit: Google, TW/SAM

Location of M5.4 earthquake in Batanes, Philippines. Credit: Google, TW/SAM

There were no tsunami warnings issued, but the quakes caused considerable infrastructural damage across Batanes region.

Mayor Raul de Sagon told AFP that 8 people had been killed and around 60 others were hurt. The extent of their injuries was not immediately clear, he said.

"We saw houses shaking. Some of the walls of the houses collapsed and fell on the victims. Some people died because they were sleeping soundly since it was still early," he added.

Roldan Esdicul, head of the Batanes provincial disaster-response office, said the initial quake [M5.4] severely cracked the bell tower of the island's old limestone church, the 19th-century Santa Maria de Mayan, a popular tourist attraction. The tower crumbled down when the second temblor hit the island, he said.

A one-story hospital was damaged, prompting patients to be evacuated and brought out in the open with dozens of injured quake victims. Some were later crammed into a basketball court with a roof due to heavy rains, Esdicul said.

Itbayat residents were advised not to return to their homes and stay in the town plaza.

Earthquakes registered by PHIVOLCS:

Date – Time
(Philippine Time)

Latitude
(ºN)

Longitude
(ºE)

Depth
(km)

Mag

Location

27 July 2019 – 06:11 PM 20.69 121.92 007 4.9 015 km S 33° E of Itbayat (Batanes)
27 July 2019 – 05:09 PM 21.04 121.84 014 3.6 022 km N 01° W of Itbayat (Batanes)
27 July 2019 – 04:50 PM 20.76 121.61 014 3.1 025 km S 82° W of Itbayat (Batanes)
27 July 2019 – 02:28 PM 19.88 122.73 001 2.8 097 km S 57° E of Uyugan (Batanes)
27 July 2019 – 01:52 PM 20.63 121.86 003 3.3 019 km S 04° E of Itbayat (Batanes)
27 July 2019 – 01:40 PM 20.45 120.84 003 3.0 103 km S 69° W of Itbayat (Batanes)
27 July 2019 – 01:01 PM 20.97 121.53 009 3.3 038 km N 60° W of Itbayat (Batanes)
27 July 2019 – 12:54 PM 20.81 121.80 003 3.2 005 km N 66° W of Itbayat (Batanes)
27 July 2019 – 11:19 AM 20.73 122.17 001 3.8 035 km S 77° E of Itbayat (Batanes)
27 July 2019 – 11:08 AM 20.98 122.09 032 3.6 033 km N 51° E of Itbayat (Batanes)
27 July 2019 – 09:27 AM 20.70 121.74 010 2.9 015 km S 48° W of Itbayat (Batanes)
27 July 2019 – 09:24 AM 20.44 122.10 001 5.8 014 km S 80° E of Basco (Batanes)
27 July 2019 – 09:14 AM 20.30 121.07 014 1.7 084 km S 87° W of Sabtang (Batanes)
27 July 2019 – 08:42 AM 20.61 121.55 009 3.1 037 km S 56° W of Itbayat (Batanes)
27 July 2019 – 08:19 AM 20.64 121.88 009 3.3 021 km S 07° E of Itbayat (Batanes)
27 July 2019 – 08:15 AM 20.48 121.86 003 3.1 011 km N 78° W of Basco (Batanes)
27 July 2019 – 08:10 AM 20.55 121.97 003 3.1 010 km N 01° W of Basco (Batanes)
27 July 2019 – 07:58 AM 20.78 121.64 001 3.5 022 km S 86° W of Itbayat (Batanes)
27 July 2019 – 07:37 AM 20.99 121.85 007 5.9 021 km N 01° E of Itbayat (Batanes)
27 July 2019 – 05:16 AM 20.76 121.19 003 3.2 068 km S 87° W of Itbayat (Batanes)
27 July 2019 – 04:16 AM 20.90 121.85 012 5.4 012 km N 04° E of Itbayat (Batanes)
26 July 2019 – 10:13 PM 20.77 121.80 001 2.4 006 km S 57° W of Itbayat (Batanes)
26 July 2019 – 07:17 PM 20.61 121.78 013 2.8 032 km N 30° W of Uyugan (Batanes)
26 July 2019 – 04:13 PM 20.92 121.91 008 4.2 015 km N 28° E of Itbayat (Batanes)
24 July 2019 – 10:36 PM 20.67 120.02 009 3.9 190 km S 85° W of Itbayat (Batanes)

 

At 17:35 UTC on September 13, 2016, Super Typhoon "Meranti" (known in the Philippines as Ferdie) made landfall on Itbayat at peak intensity, with the center of the eye passing directly over the island. During landfall, the storm's powerful winds caused extensive damage and knocked out the island's communications systems.

Meranti peaked at 305 km/h (190 mph) sustained winds and tied with Typhoon "Tip" as the second-strongest tropical cyclone in the northwest Pacific since 1970.

Credit: NASA/NOAA/DoD Suomi NPP/VIIRS, UW-CIMSS/SSEC

Featured image credit: Google, TW/SAM

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One Comment

  1. According to news reports , an earthquake of 5.4 magnitude struck two islands of Philippines on 26 July 2019 followed shortly by aftershocks of 5.9 magnitude , killing 8 persons and injuring about 60 , besides damage to houses there. These islands are within a distance of about one hundred kms from Taiwan. In this context , it may be apt to refer readers to this Vedic astrology writer’s predictive article – “ World trends in April to August 2019” – brought to public domain widely in March and subsequently on 5 April 2019. The predictive alerts in the article was that a period of four and a half months from mid –April to August , particularly June and around , in the present year 2019 appeared to trend worrisome concerns covering earthquake in , among others , Taiwan and nearby. Later analysis of planetary movements had suggested that such concerns could reach out as far as mid –October , while 7 August to about 9 October ( 28-29 September ) in 2019 look to be particular in vulnerable countries and regions. Vulnerable regions or areas in India may also take pre-emptive measures to tackle quake if that occurs. Even if quake hits , there are some important factors which may or may not make it really worrisome – its depth in the epicentre and then magnitude. So there appears to be no ground in India for substantial or major worry , still good education about how to deal with and some sort of rehearsals can be advised.

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