Terror with Tremors

by Maricel

When nature take its toll, can we be prepared enough to face such tribulation?

Calamities and natural disasters has been raging headlines around the globe these past months, ranging from hurricanes, typhoons (and sometimes super typhoons), volcanic eruptions, floods and landslides, and recently earthquakes which some resulted to deadly tsunamis like what happened in Japan on May 11. According to the latest news, the death toll are now up to more than 7,000 with over 13,000 people still missing. somehow, the ugly aftermath of all these disasters awaken in us a sense of questioning and an increasing sense of awareness what this successive calamities may beacon to our future as a society that comprise the nation, a nation that makes up the world and thus resembles the Earth- the sole inhabited planet in the solar system- our only Home.

Based on these current events, one could infer that these disasters of which some resulted from our man-made dealings, for we all have contributed, either directly or indirectly to why these onslaught of violent and deadly phenomena seem to eradicate the human population gradually.

With the aforementioned natural calamities, earthquake has raised itself to being the cream of the crop of almost news agency worldwide today due to its unanticipated nature that when it hits, it hits you outright without warning whatsoever. And depending on the magnitude of the tremor, resulting tsunamis are sometimes more destructive and deadly than the earthquake itself. Had the Japan quake, an astounding 8.9 magnitude at that, hit somewhere, a place where quality of infrastructures is lesser than the acceptable, taking for example like what happened to Haiti of which 7.0 magnitude earthquake left at least 200, 000 people dead and over 1.5 million homeless, probably more properties would have been lost and more lives being mourned. And because Japan is way advanced when it comes to technology, and strict in implementing construction guidelines (this I presume after having experienced myself working with Japanese employers before and a first- hand witness of how dedicated they are when it comes to quality), the high standard of infrastructures helped a lot to keep the damage at low.

The Japan quake somehow made people realize how ready and capable a nation can be when earthquake occurs. And here in the Philippines, government agencies were not spared by the consistent clamor of the people as to the degree of preparedness the nation has when it comes to responding to such inevitable events.

Just the previous day, two tremors has been recorded, one (5.4 magnitude) whose epicenter was at Lubang Island in Mindoro and the other (a 4.7 magnitude) in Pili, Camarines Sur. According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) director Renato Solidum, the quake was caused by the movement of the Manila Trench in the South China Sea. Fortunately, no major damage has been reported due to the following tremors, but it did create terror to some extent. Dir. Solidum further clarifies that the Manila trench has been continuously moving since then, sometimes creating low- frequency, some even almost unfelt tremors, to about 20 shakings a day, so there is no need to panic or think perhaps that the sign of the end times is slowly unfolding. It is the attention given by the media organizations and the rising awareness of people about natural calamities that somehow made people think that earthquakes nowadays are very much prevalent. However, he said that it is still very important for everyone, at all times to be informed and be ready just in case calamities and natural disasters happen.

To live in a country that lies in the Pacific ring of fire, where normally volcanic eruptions and great earthquakes occur, it is indeed very important to keep ourselves informed and prepared.

Here’s the location of the active faults and trenches in the Philippines. You might want to check it out.