A magnitude-5.9 earthquake rocked parts of Mindanao Saturday afternoon, with the epicenter located at Datu Blah Sinsuat in Maguindanao.
It came four days short of the 46th anniversary of the Intensity 7.9 tsunami earthquake (on Richter’s Scale) that killed nearly 8,000 people on August 17, 1976.
There was not much reported damage to properties during Saturday’s tremor, but a resident said there were cracks running down “kilometers” in depth under the land surface of South Upi.
“May lupang nabitak (a land surface cracked),” a resident said.
Some 46 years ago, the coastal lines of South Upi across the Tamontaka River were washed away by tidal waves overlaying sea-level land surface to the heights of coconut trees, drowning a community of some 4,000 people, many of whom were missing or were presumed dead after weeks of search and rescue efforts.
About 4,000 more residents in Cotabato City were pinned to death under structures that fell or were electrocuted.
Miraculously, a family of newlyweds and their four-month-old baby then had survived three days under rubbles of fallen concrete at one of the ground floor shops of a hotel building that collapsed in 1976.
Meanwhile, there is no indication yet that a “dangerous” eruption will happen at Taal Volcano as vog formation continues, Science Secretary Renato Solidum said.
He said evacuating residents is not recommended for now.
During sulfur dioxide gas emissions, residents should stay inside their houses and close their doors and windows to avoid inhaling the particulates.
If one needs to go outside, wearing a face mask is a must. If N95 masks are not available, a damp piece of cloth may be used, Solidum said.
In the latest advisory of Phivolcs, over 13,000 tons of sulfur dioxide was recorded in just a day even as the Taal Volcano remains at Alert Level 1 despite the activity.