Very strong and shallow M6.6 earthquake hits Samar, Philippines

Very strong and shallow M6.6 earthquake hits Samar, Philippines

A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the USGS as M6.6 hit Samar, Philippines at 00:03 UTC (08:03 LT) on August 18, 2020. The agency is reporting a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles). PHIVOLCS is reporting M6.6 at a depth of 21 km (13 miles).

The epicenter was located 13.4 km (8.3 miles) E of San Pedro (population 2 318), 51.8 km (32.2 miles) W of Calbayog City (population 67 921), 59.3 km (36.8 miles) NNW of Naval (population 12 217) and 66.8 km (41.5 miles) SE of Masbate (population 47 490), Philippines.

There are about 2 570 000 people living within 100 km (62 miles).

PHIVOLCS said there was no risk of a tsunami from the earthquake but warned of the risk of aftershocks.

120 000 people are estimated to have felt very strong shaking, 349 000 strong, and 2 562 000 moderate.

Image credit: TW/SAM, Google

Image credit: PHIVOLCS

The USGS issued a green alert for shaking-related fatalities and economic losses. There is a low likelihood of casualties and damage.

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 unknown/miscellaneous types and heavy wood frame construction.

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

Significant damage occurred at Masbate Island --collapsed roofs and walls, large cracks on roads...

At least one person, a 63-year-old retired police officer, was killed by falling debris. 

Several other people were injured.

Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking

Selected cities exposed

Regional seismicity

Featured image credit: TW/SAM, Google

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