Fault lines to avoid in the Philippines for your Home

Metro Manila fault line

A home is a shelter that almost everyone considers to be a safe haven. It is the place where you feel most at ease, where you can unwind and spend time with your loved ones, and where you keep your most priceless belongings. Your house and lot property may be your proudest accomplishment and a prized possession for you. In other words, your home is a secure place for you and your family. Due to this circumstance, it is impossible to prevent disasters and calamities; therefore, you may wonder if your home is safe from earthquakes. It is important for us to know where the Philippine fault lines might be to avoid this kind of danger from your home.

Earthquake Philippines

The fact that earthquakes occur everywhere does not excuse you from being concerned about it. It was revealed by experts that earthquakes of magnitude 2 or less occur more than 100 times everyday. But what about higher-intensity earthquakes?

The worst earthquake to ever hit the Philippines struck in 1968. Casiguran, Aurora was shaken by an earthquake with an intensity of eight, and Metro Manila was also severely impacted. Major buildings there suffered varying degrees of damage. The total cost of the property destruction was estimated to be in the millions of dollars.

Therefore, the risk of being close to earthquake fault lines cannot be disregarded. These lines are located where two tectonic plates collide, a region vulnerable to severe earthquake damage.

What is a fault line?

A crack in the crust that was formed as the crust shifted is known as an earthquake fault line or fault. Seismologists have discovered that fault lines are where the deepest earthquakes occur. Seismic waves are produced when two fault sides pass one another, which causes the earthquake to occur.

Three tectonic plates encircle the nation: the Philippines Plate, the Eurasian Plate, and the Indo-Australian Plate. The Philippine fault zone was thus created as a result of the movement of these tectonic plates.

Philippine Fault Line

The Philippine Fault Zone (PFZ), a 1,200-kilometer (km) long tectonic feature that runs across the country, is one reason why we frequently experience severe earthquakes. The fault zone travels across the following regions from northwest Luzon to southeast Mindanao:

  • Ilocos Region
  • Nueva Ecija
  • Quezon Province
  • Masbate
  • Leyte
  • CARAGA Region
  • Davao Gulf
  • Davao Oriental

The magnitude 7.7 Luzon earthquake (1990) and the magnitude 6.2 Masbate earthquake were both caused by large earthquakes that occurred in the Philippine Fault Zone in recent years (2003).

4 Active Fault Lines in the Philippines that we need to avoid.

Due to its location along the Pacific Ring of Fire, which makes it prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, the country frequently experiences seismic events such as volcanic eruption. In addition, the Philippines is also home to inter-related geological faults that include the following:

  1. Marikina Valley Fault System

In the Philippines, one of the most well-known and feared fault systems is the Marikina Valley Fault System. It starts in the Bulacan village of Doa Remedios Trinidad and ends in the Laguna village of Canlubang. Along with the surrounding provinces of Rizal and Laguna, the active fault system also cuts through six cities in Metro Manila. Even though the Marikina Valley Fault System contains a number of recognized faults, these two segments are the most well-known:

  • East Valley Fault

In the province of Rizal, the East Valley Fault runs through the Rodriguez and San            Mateo districts for around 10 kilometers. According to reports, the fault moves every 400 years or so, and a magnitude 7.2 earthquake there may kill over 30,000 people.

  • West Valley Fault

The West Valley Fault, meanwhile, spans across parts of Metro Manila’s Quezon City, Pasig, Marikina, Makati, Taguig, and Muntinlupa as well as surrounding provinces, and it is 100 km long. According to PHIVOLCS, the fault might cause the “Big One” followed by the tsunami.

  • Masbate Fault

Masbate is thought to be a seismically active portion of the nation, which explains why there are so many earthquakes nearby. The Guinayangan Fault and the Masbate Fault are both parts of the Philippine Fault Line. The Uson Fault and the Southern Masbate Fault are two additional potentially active faults in Masbate.

The Philippine Fault Line’s movement caused the province to experience an earthquake of magnitude 6.6 in August 2022. Nearby provinces, such as Aklan, Albay, Biliran, Capiz, Leyte, and Negros Occidental, also suffered from an impact.

  • Vigan-Aggao Fault

The 140-km Vigan-Aggao Fault is located in northern Luzon’s PFZ’s westernmost region. According to a research from 2020, the fault is divided into four segments: Santa-Sinait, San Juan-Vintar, Bacarra-Burgos, and Pagudpud.

If the “Big One” or the worst-case scenario of an earthquake occurs, in addition to the Vigan-Aggao Fault, the Ilocos Region could also be extremely affected by the West Valley Fault.

  • Guinayangan Fault

The Guinayangan Fault, which runs through the center of Quezon Province and is a part of the Philippine Fault Line, is an active fault as of 2020, according to data from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS).

The magnitude 7 Ragay Gulf Earthquake was caused by the Guinayangan Fault, which also creates high intensity earthqakes of significant strength. In Quezon areas of Guinayangan, Calauag, and Lopez, intensity eight ground shaking was recorded during this occurrence.

More importantly, keep in mind that an earthquake’s strength and magnitude measure several characteristics of the event. The former calculates the energy released at the epicenter of the earthquake. The latter describes the intensity of the ground shaking and is based on how the earthquake affects people and built structures.

Knowing these significant and active faults in the Philippines makes it evident why earthquakes frequently occur in various areas of the country. If you reside in a high-risk location, go above and beyond the duck, cover, and hold technique. Retrofit your home, make a disaster plan, and assemble an emergency supply kit.

Invest in a Home far from Fault Lines.

For those who plan to acquire real estate in the Philippines, go for a earthquake-proof property or choose a location away from the hazardous areas on our fault line map. Consider checking out BRIA Homes if you’re seeking for a house and lot that is reasonably priced and is surely safe and protected during an earthquake. Affordable house and lots as well as condominiums are available at BRIA Homes, in which are built with consideration for natural disasters such as earthquake. These homes have open spaces all throughout the community and is located in a strategic place away from the major fault lines. You won’t have trouble finding the ideal home for you and your family because the Bria Homes website offers alternatives for you to browse by location and property type.

Written by Alfred Alaba