Very strong M6.9 earthquake, series of aftershocks hit Mindanao, Philippines


A strong and shallow earthquake registered by PHIVOLCS as M6.9 hit Mindanao, Philippines at 06:11 UTC (14:11 LT) on December 15, 2019. The agency is reporting a depth of 3 km (1.8 miles). The USGS is reporting M6.8 at a depth of 22.4 km (13.9 miles); EMSC M6.8 at a depth of 30 km (18.6 miles). More than 25 moderate to strong aftershocks were registered by 09:00 UTC. At least 4 people have been killed.

The epicenter was located 6.6 km (4.1 miles) S of Magsaysay (population 16 592),  9.1 km (5.7 miles) SSW of Bansalan (population 21 391), 18.3 km (11.4 miles) W of Guihing (population 12 466), 18.8 km (11.7 miles) WNW of Padada (population 11 439) and 44.1 km (27.4 miles) ENE of Korondal (population 125 502).

There are 7 779 000 people living within 100 km (62 miles).

365 000 are estimated to have felt very strong shaking, 4 087 000 strong, 4 882 000 moderate, and 10 309 000 light.

Based on all available data, there is no tsunami threat from this earthquake, PTWC said.

The USGS issued a green alert for shaking-related fatalities and economic losses.

Image credit: Google, TW/SAM

Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are a mix of vulnerable and earthquake-resistant construction. The predominant vulnerable building types are reinforced concrete and unknown/miscellaneous types of construction.

Recent earthquakes in this area have caused secondary hazards such as landslides that might have contributed to losses.

Liquefaction triggered by this earthquake is estimated to be significant in severity and (or) spatial extent. The number of people living near areas that could have produced liquefaction in this earthquake is extensive.

Little or no landsliding is expected, but some landslides could have occurred in highly susceptible areas. The number of people living near areas that could have produced landslides in this earthquake is low, but landslide damage or fatalities are still possible in highly susceptible areas.

According to Anthony Allada, public information officer of Magsaysay Town, Davao del Sur, 14 people were injured but none seriously.

Roads and buildings, including the local government office, were damaged and power was out in the town.

At least 3 people have been killed after a three-story supermarket collapsed in Padada town, Davao Del Sur. An unknown number of people were believed to be trapped under the rubble.

A six-year-old girl was killed in nearby Matanao town after she was hit by a falling concrete wall.

This region was shaken by four powerful quakes in October and November, which together killed at least 20 people.

YouTube video

YouTube video

Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking

Selected cities exposed

Regional seismicity

Featured image credit: Google, TW/SAM


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One Comment

  1. I was up late last night commenting at SpaceWeather when this quake struck. By great coincidence there was a post on solar/quake correlations which I had been interacting with through the day on that site. So with some newly found solar material to absorb from the conversation I immediately looked for correlation with solar dynamics and the 6.9 quake. And bingo the Canadian magnetometers showed a strong signal at 3 of the stations on the graph on Y(east), and Z(down). Next time a sharp quake hits check out CANMOS to look for potential correlation, … https://www.spaceweatherlive.com/en/auroral-activity/magnetometers#CANMOS

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