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PIA Press Release

Phivolcs, Kyoto University conduct active faults mapping in Eastern Mindanao

By Christy Carole B. Sanico

Tagum City (1 May) -- The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) together with Kyoto University has been researching on Active Fault Mapping and Paleoseismic Studies along the Philippine Fault Zones (PFZ) in Eastern Mindanao.

PHIVOLCS' Jeffrey Perez together with his team of scientists trenched and studied cities and municipalities in Eastern Mindanao affected by PFZ.

Affected areas are as follows: Davao del Norte - Asuncion (Saug) and New Corella; Compostela Valley province - Laak (San Vicente), Monkayo, Montevista, Compostela, Mawab, Nabunturan, New Bataan, Maragusan (San Mariano) and Pantukan; and Davao Oriental – Banay-Banay, Lupon and Mati.

The team has been trenching or ditching on these fault zone areas and found out that the layers of soils and rocks in these areas are unleveled. "These are indicators that an earthquake happened years ago in that place causing the layer's disarray," Perez said.

"The results from our study are not yet final, all are preliminary… We are yet to conduct intensive research regarding the data we have gathered," he added.

Perez discussed historical earthquakes along PFZ in Eastern Mindanao during the joint 265th quarterly conference held on Thursday (April 29, 2010) of the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council XI and Davao del Norte Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council.

"On June 21, 1893, a possible extensive faulting occurred in Monkayo… and on April 15, 1924, a large scale subsidence and possible faulting were reported in Mati, Davao Oriental," Perez recalled.

From the study, Perez claimed that "there were at least 2 seismic events for the past 1,700 years." "But basing on the data we got from our study, I can say there were even 4," he said.

Meanwhile, Dir. Liza R. Mazo, executive officer of the RDCC, said that instead of treating it as a threat "we're very fortunate that PHIVOLCS is studying our region… It's not meant to scare us."

"It can even help us decide and plan for proper land usage… This study can also serve as a good tool for LGUs' decision-makers," Mazo stated.

Perez and the rest of PHIVOLCS group are set to go back in Manila on May 15 after years of studying the fault zones in Eastern Mindanao. (PIA XI) [top]

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