(Update): Magnitude 6 earthquake rocks Metro, nearby provinces — Phivolcs

March 25, 2010 10:09 pm 

MANILA, March 25 — The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said a magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked Metro Manila and nearby provinces at around 1:29 p.m. Thursday, causing panic across the metropolis but no damage had been reported so far.

Renato Solidum, Phivolcs chief, said the tectonic temblor was caused by movements of fault along Lubang Island near the South China Sea.

The epicenter of the quake was traced at 27 kilometers northwest of Lubang Island in Occidental Mindoro.

"We urge the public to stay calm," Solidum said, adding the people must not panic should aftershocks ensue.

"So far we have yet to receive reports of damage, but we recorded 10 feeble aftershocks," he said.

The Phivolcs head said areas surrounding the fragile Marikina Valley System, the most active fault line in the country, were not severely affected although more than 30-second shaking was felt in Pasig City.

"It's because the epicenter of the quake is in Mindoro. But we received reports that they felt mild to moderate temblor there," he said.

The quake was tectonic in origin and had a depth of 25 kilometers underground.

It was felt at intensity 4 in Quezon City, Mandaluyong City, Pasig City, Makati City, Pasay City, Taguig City, and Talisay, Batangas.

Intensity 3 was felt in Marikina City, Tagaytay City, Bagac, Bataan; Canlubang, Laguna; Clark, Pampanga; Rosario and Trece Martires City in Cavite.

Intensity 2 was registered in Calamba, Laguna; Legazpi City, Albay; and Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro.

No tsunami warning was issued as the tremor was not strong enough to generate powerful waves. Earthquakes measuring magnitude 7 and up can trigger a tsunami.

Solidum said the public must prepare for occurrence like this as the country is prone to earthquakes.

The Philippines sits along the so-called earthquake belt called the Ring of Fire, a band of volcanoes and fault lines circling the edges of the Pacific Ocean.

This causes the frequent seismic activity in the country, which typically averages 20 earthquakes per day.

"The key is to be informed, be prepared," Solidum said. (PNA) scs/MPC

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