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Batangas quake not a prelude to 'Big One'
Office workers stand on the grounds of an office building in the financial district of Makati in Manila on April 8, 2017, after a 5.7 magnitude earthquake. A magnitude 5.7 earthquake rocked the Philippines on April 8, the US Geological Survey said, sending people running out of buildings in the capital Manila. AFP/Ted Aljibe
MANILA, Philippines — There is no connection between the recent earthquake swarm in Batangas and the feared movement of the West Valley Fault that can cause considerable damage in Metro Manila, the top state seismologist said.
Renato Solidum Jr, director of Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, said that there is no known cause of the series of earthquakes in Batangas last week except for movement in a fault system in the area. The quakes jolted nearby provinces including Metro Manila.
"The faults or the earthquakes that have been happening all over the Philippines are related to faults in the area but the fault in Batangas and other areas are not connected at all to the West Vallley Fault so there will be no basis for saying that these earthquakes are precursors to the big EQ in Metro Manila," Solidum told ANC on Monday.
Referring to quakes in the Visayas region on Monday morning, Solidum said they do not originate from the Batangas quakes.
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"It could just mean that faults are moving, it does not mean anything in a sense of a pattern," he said.
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Solidum and his agency have been warning the public about a destructive 7.2 magnitude earthquake generated from a movement of the West Valley Fault seen to affect the capital region. Nicknamed the "Big One," the Metro Manila quake—like all other earthquakes cannot be predicted or forecasted but based on historical data, it is due to happen over the next decade.
An earthquake swarm which recently affected Batangas, meanwhile, may even extend to the next few days or week. Two earthquakes struck the province on April 4 and April 8, both followed by hundreds of aftershocks.
Solidum said that Phivolcs is closely monitoring the Batangas swarm for signs of tapering off.
"Essentially people are advised to just be prepared in case there are strong shocks to the precautionary measures that they are protected in case stronger earthquakes happen," he said. — Camille Diola