Three consecutive earthquakes, including one that measured 6.0 on the Richter scale, rocked Batangas and surrounding areas including Metro Manila yesterday.
The series of tremors came four days after a strong quake also hit the same province.
There was no report of casualties, but the quake caused a landslide in Mt. Maculot in Cuenca, Batangas and did some damage to properties in the hard-hit province.
The first quake, measuring 5.6-magnitude was felt around 3:07 p.m. It originated one kilometer (km) southwest of Mabini, Batangas.
It was felt at Intensity 7 in Mabini, Batangas which Phivolcs described as destructive.
In Metro Manila, the earthquake was at Intensity 3.
Two minutes after the first quake, another tremor was recorded around 3:09 p.m. with its epicenter located 12 km northwest of Mabini, Batangas. It was measured at 6.0-magnitude.
The areas that felt the first of three consecutive earthquakes registered the same tremor intensities during the second event, according to Phivolcs.
The third quake was felt at about 3:29 p.m. with a preliminary magnitude of 4.1, according to Phivolcs science research assistant Lara Gianan.
The tremors were widely felt because the earthquakes were too shallow — just between 24 and 27 km deep.
The United States Geological Survey measured the magnitudes of the earthquake at 5.7, 5.9, and 5.0, respectively.
Gianan pointed out that Phivolcs is still verifying if yesterday’s earthquakes are separate events, and not aftershocks, since they are stronger than last Tuesday’s 5.5-magnitude tremor.
However, Phivolcs said the origin of the earthquake is also near the local fault along Mabini, Batangas.
Meanwhile, photos of the landslide in Mt. Maculot appeared in social media.
Calls for the suspension of hiking in Batangas mountains mounted in the social media.
The landslide was visible in the north side of the mountain.
It was uncertain if there were mountain climbers in the area when the quakes struck.
The provincial disaster council also reported landslides in Agoncillo and Batangas City.
The Basilica of the Immaculate Concepcion Parish in Batangas City was partially damaged.
In Taal, patients from Taal Polymedic were evacuated.
In Mabini, Hotel Camp Netanya, an upscale resort in Barangay Ligaya, was badly hit when part of the building collapsed, damaging three parked vehicles.
The Mabini General Hospital was also damaged. (ELLALYN V. RUIZ)