The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seimsmology (Phivolcs) has said the city of Davao and surrounding regions are at ‘high risk’ of a major earthquake, possibly one which could reach seven or higher on the Richter Scale.
Phivolcs announced that it has discovered “several new cracks” in the ground in Mati City in Davao Oriental, along with other regions in Compostela Valley province.
A known fault line which is approximately 320-kilometers long called the “Surigao-Mati” fault line created the presence of the new cracks found in various regions.
The “Surigao-Mati” fault line is the same line that triggered a massive earthquake in 1893 which scientists now say measured 7.2 on the Richter scale.
That earthquake had an epicenter in what now is known as the municipality of Mankayo, Cabnalit.
Phivolcs warned that if a similar magnitude earthquake would occur in Monkayo region, Davao City would experience a destructive 7.0+ magnitude quake in less than a minute.
Recent sightings of the cracks were conducted during a trenching project in the regions of Mati City and Compostela Valley.
Phivolcs said that since many buildings are constructed on ‘soft ground’ in the Davao City region, a 7.0 earthquake would be devastating.
It has also predicted that if the earthquake would happen in the sea near these areas, a tsunami would strike the coast hard – Phivolcs said for that to happen, the earthquake would have to measure approximately 8.3 on the Richter Scale.
Officials for Phivolcs said “This only proved that we have an active fault line,” when referring to the recent discovery of the cracks.
Officials noted that they are certain another strong tremor could occur at anytime in the near future.
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