A magnitude-5.2 quake jolted Masbate City in Bicol region Tuesday morning, March 6, 2012. At least eight persons were hurt when the quake shook the island which caused cracks on some roads and buildings.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) reported that the quake struck parts of the Bicol region at 7:06 a.m. on Tuesday. It was tectonic in origin and had an epicenter three kilometers north of the island of Masbate, where it was felt at Intensity 6.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) measured the quake at magnitude 5.3, with the epicenter at:
10 km (6 miles) ESE of Masbate, Masbate, Philippines
88 km (54 miles) S of Legaspi, Luzon, Philippines
101 km (62 miles) WNW of Calbayog, Samar, Philippines
387 km (240 miles) SE of MANILA, Philippines
According to reports, the quake was felt at intensity 6 in Masbate, intensity 4 in Irosin, Cabid-an and Sorsogon City, and intensity 2 in Legazpi.
In the description of Phivolcs, an intensity scale of 6 is described as: “Very Strong – Many people are frightened; many run outdoors. Some people lose their balance. motorists feel like driving in flat tires. Heavy objects or furniture move or may be shifted. Small church bells may ring. Wall plaster may crack. Very old or poorly built houses and man-made structures are slightly damaged though well-built structures are not affected. Limited rockfalls and rolling boulders occur in hilly to mountainous areas and escarpments. Trees are noticeably shaken.”
The quake was followed by a magnitude-3.5 aftershock at 7:13 a.m., seven minutes after the quake, Phivolcs said. The aftershock which was traced to 6 km northwest of Masbate City was felt at intensity 5 in Masbate City and intensity 2 in Roxas City.
Masbate City Mayor Socrates Tuason said in a television news interview that several buildings in the city showed cracks after the two tremors. Morning classes in Masbate City were immediately suspended after the quake. The quake sent panicked people fleeing onto the streets. About eight people reportedly sustained minor injuries.