MANILA— The magnitude 6.6 quake which struck off a Batangas town Saturday is not connected to volcanic activity around the restive Taal Volcano, the chief of state seismology bureau Phivolcs said.
In a public press briefing, Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum said the quake which struck off Calatagan town was attributed to movement in the Manila Trench caused by a block of rock inserting itself underneath, and was a common occurrence.
"Ang lindol kanina 4:48 ng madaling araw ay sanhi ng pagkilos ng Manila Trench kung saan bloke ng bato na galing sa West Philippine Sea ay sumusuksok pailalim at umaabot sa areas ng Calatagan at Mindoro. Ito ay walang kinalaman sa volcanic activity ng Taal [at] madalas na nangyayari... Minsan, ang mga lindol dito sa ilalim ng Calatagan ay nararamdaman sa Metro Manila," Solidum said.
(The earthquake this morning was caused by movement in the Manila Trench, where a block of rock from the West Philippine Sea inserts itself underneath and reaches Calatagan and Mindoro. This does not have anything to do with the volcanic activity in Taal and it's a common occurence. Sometimes, the quakes felt in Calatagan are felt in Metro Manila.)
The tectonic quake occurred around 16 kilometers southwest off Calatagan town and was felt in Metro Manila, Cavite, Tagaytay, and nearby areas as monsoon rains continued to dampen parts of Luzon.
The quake also damaged a few establishments in Mindoro as the quake triggered landslides but Solidum said it was not very extensive. He said the quake happened deep and thus did not cause much damage on the surface.
The quake's depth was not enough to trigger a tsunami, Solidum said, nor was it a prelude to "The Big One." However, Solidum noted that they have been on the lookout for stronger movements along the Manila Trench, which could cause a tsunami affecting coastal areas in Metro Manila and neighboring towns and cities.
"Ang kaibahan lang dito, maliban sa malakas na pagyanig na mararamdaman ay posibleng magdulot ng tsunami na puwedeng makaapekto sa iba't ibang dalampasigan sa kanlurang bahagi ng Luzon, Mindoro, Palawan, at Metro Manila," Solidum said.
(The only difference here is that it could possibly cause a tsunami which could affect coastal areas in the eastern part of Luzon, Mindoro, Palawan, and Metro Manila.)
The quake also occured less than a day after Phivolcs lowered the alert level in Taal to Alert Level 2 from Alert Level 3.
But even with the volcano's decreased unrest, which prompted thousands of residents to evacuate a few weeks back, Solidum urged residents to remain cautious.
"Nagbaba tayo from Alert 3 to Alert 2. May decreased unrest at nakita natin ang pagbabawas ng paglabas ng gas. Dahil dito binaba natin pero hindi nangangahulugang hindi may threat," Solidum said.
(We lowered the alert level, as there is decreased unrest and we saw lesser gas emissions. Because of this, we lowered the alert levels - but that doesn't mean the threat is over.)