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At 00:03 UTC at 6.6 magnitude earthquake rocked the Philippines on Aug. 18, 2020. There is one confirmed death. Damages reported include roads, buildings, a hospital, and a sports center being used as a COVID-19 quarantine center.
According to the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre, reports the earthquake epicenter depth was 30 km offshore. It is 5 km SW of Cataingan — the hardest-hit area.
The provincial administrator, Rino Revalo, explained the hospital moved patients out to tents due to cracks in the building.
Engineers are in the process of checking the integrity of the sports complex to determine if it is safe for quarantined people to remain in the facility.
A 66-year-old retired police colonel died in his three-story home fell down. Thus far, Reuters reports four people suffered minor injuries. There are 327 “I felt it” notifications submitted online, according to Volcano Discovery.
The Philippine seismology center said residents do not need to fear a tsunami but warned the public to be prepared for aftershocks.
Earthquakes In Philippines
Today’s earthquake is the strongest tumbler since Aug. 29, 1938. The magnitude 7 quaked close to Masbate Island — near Cataingan. On Nov. 13, 1970, approximately 20 km away was hit with a 6.5 magnitude quake.
Interestingly, scientists report a foreshock occurred hours before the earthquake today — 4.1 tremor. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Penology believes this was a warning that prompted people to go to open areas. It is possible the foreshock saved lives.
In the past 30 days, the Philippines has experienced approximately 2-3 earthquakes daily. They range from 2.1-5.5 magnitude, excluding today’s quakes.
Volcano Discovery seeks responses from those who felt today’s earthquake. In Santa Magdalena, 73 km N of the epicenter a person wrote: It was really frightening. We watched as the tree swayed with the shaking and began to slowly crack.
Another 122.8 km SSE from the epicenter in Ormoc says: By the weak shaking he determined the earthquake was far away. “I could feel the movement and see a dormant ceiling fan wave a bit.”
The furthest report comes from Lapu-Lapu City which is 184.8 km S of the epicenter.
Novel Coronavirus Stats for the Philippines
The islands —population 107 million — have the most COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia. As of Aug. 18, 2020, health officials report 169,213 confirmed cases and 2,687 deaths. Of the confirmed cases 113,000 people have recovered from their bout with the virus.
Globally 21.8 million people were diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, of those 14.9 million have recovered. unfortunately, there are 778,818 deaths reported worldwide.
Caring for the sick, elderly, children, and disabled during the pandemic is made worse by natural disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes, tropical storms, and fires. This is especially the case when there is damage to medical and quarantine facilities.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
Reuters: Strong quake in Philippines kills one, damages quarantine centre
Volcano Discovery: Strong mag. 6.6 earthquake – Leyte, Philippines on Tuesday, 18 August 2020 – information
Worldometer: COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
Featured Image Courtesy of Marc Veraart’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image by Maloyo-Polynesian.svg Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License