In my own province of Cebu, the Sto. Nino Church was damaged while in my ancestral home – Carcar City, the church bell fell. With so many calamities happening in the country, it is perhaps time that overseas Filipinos here in Canada should start thinking of organizing our own disaster relief organization.
Instead of reacting to each calamity when it happens, we could build up a fund and relief goods, etc. and build a network of resources and people. I know of several people who are already working in this field with other organizations like Rotary. If we can pool our efforts towards building an organization specifically for Philippine relief, that would be a worthwhile achievement.
The Philippines is located within the “Pacific Ring of Fire,” a series of interconnected seismic plates that cause earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The country sits on the Philippine Plate, which is sandwiched by the Pacific Plate and Indian Plate. The Philippine Plate is also seen to be one of the involved seismic plates that caused the magnitude 8.9 earthquake in Japan. Several major earthquakes have hit the Philippines. These are quakes that have magnitudes above 5 in the Richter scale are considered major earthquakes.
Here’s a list of the most powerful earthquakes recorded by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).
1968 August 02: Magnitude 7.3 in Casiguran, Quezon that killed 270 people.
1973 March 17: Magnitude 7.0 in Ragay Gulf in Bicol
1976 August 17: Magnitude 7.9 Moro Gulf in Mindanao that killed nearly 6,000 people after a tsunami struck homes near the gulf.
1983 August 17: Magnitude 6.5 in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte that killed 16 people.
1990 February 08: Magnitude 6.8 in Bohol that killed 6 people and caused P154 million in damages. 1990 June 14: Magnitude 7.1 in Panay that killed 8 people.
1990 July 16: Magnitude 7.9 in Luzon, probably the most well known as it caused 1,621 deaths and caused an estimated US$637 million (P15 billion in 1990)
1994 November 15: Magnitude 7.1 in Mindoro that killed 17 people and caused around P5 million in damages.
1996 May 27: Magnitude 5.6 in Bohol. No deaths or major damages were reported but it brought to attention the possibility of major damage if a more powerful earthquake struck.
1999 June 07: Magnitude 5.1 in Bayugan, Agusan del Sur. No deaths were reported but scientists reported that liquefaction could occur.
2002 March 06: Magnitude 6.8 in Palimbang in Mindanao. This was the first time that a software imaging model was used to predict the size of the tsunami, which was relatively small and did not cause any major problems.
2003 February 15: Magnitude 6.2 in Masbate. No major damage was reported but the quake was felt in Bicol, Leyte, Panay, Cebu, Negros and Romblon.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS), one of the major worldwide geological monitoring agencies, also listed several notable earthquakes in the Philippines.
2003 November 18: Magnitude 6.5 in Samar that killed one person.
2004 October 08:Magnitude 6.5 in Mindoro that was felt throughout central and southern Luzon.
2009 October 04: Magnitude 6.6 in Moro Gulf, Mindanao.
2010 July 23: Magnitude 7.6 in Moro Gulf, Mindanao, which is the second most powerful, recorded since the 1990 Luzon earthquake. It is part of a series of earthquakes that happened in that day.