Department of Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo sent a quick response team yesterday to Negros Oriental to assess the damage in earthquake-affected areas. The team, headed by DOST-Phivolcs Chief Mariton Bornas and Senior Science Specialist Mabel Abigania, is composed of geologists, seismologists and information staff from the DOST- Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (DOST-Phivolcs). They arrived in Dumaguete City yesterday afternoon and will proceed to the Tayasan and Libertad areas in Negros Oriental to immediately conduct post-earthquake assessment.
The team will evaluate the extent of damage around the Negros-Cebu area, particularly the hazards caused by the earthquake such as landslides, liquefaction, ground rupture, tsunami and other developments in the areas near the epicenter. The team will also install instruments in gathering intensity reports to determine the strength of ground shaking in various areas.
Also, the team will use portable seismic monitoring equipment to accurately identify the position of the epicenter of the aftershocks, and identify and locate the fault plain that caused the main shock. The experts will likewise document the condition in the areas around the epicenter through pictures and video to help them better understand and study the incident.
Meanwhile, the information team will conduct on-site lectures on what to do during and after an earthquake and distribute information materials on earthquake and other hazards.
“We assure our countrymen, especially those in the earthquake-damaged areas, that DOST-Phivolcs is doing its best to monitor all events related to the Cebu-Negros earthquake,” Sec. Montejo stated. “We are doing this to deepen our own knowledge of what happened and continually provide our people with the relevant information they need to understand this earthquake event and how to cope with its effects.”
Meanwhile, DOST-Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum that yesterday’s earthquake was quite different from the 1990 earthquake in Northern Luzon though they had same magnitude.
“The 1990 earthquake was caused by a horizontal fault,” explained Dr. Solidum. “However, the Negros-Cebu quake was cause by a thrust fault, which is similar to two cars colliding, and the hood of one car is on top of the other.”
Since the 6.9 magnitude earthquake at 11:49 AM on Monday, DOST-Phivolcs has recorded more than a thousand aftershocks, most of which were not felt. (Framelia V. Anonas)