(Photo from philippineslifestyle.com)
QUEZON CITY â€” Reports claiming there will be a strong earthquake between Feb. 24 and March 8 due to rupture in the West Valley Fault that traverses a wide portion of Metro Manila and nearby provinces are untrue.
This was stressed by government seismologists as they warned the public on the spread of fake news on the supposed "Big One."
The 100-kilometer West Valley Fault traverses parts of Bulacan through Quezon City, Marikina, Makati, Pasig, Taguig and Muntinlupa in Metro Manila; San Pedro, BiĂ±an, Sta. Rosa, Cabuyao and Calamba in Laguna; and Carmona, General Mariano Alvarez and Silang in Cavite.
â€śWe cannot predict when or where an earthquake will happen. There is no reliable technology in the world that can confidently predict the date, time and location of large earthquakes,â€ť said the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.
â€śWhat we do is prepare earthquake scenarios of hazards and impacts to be used as guide for mitigation, preparedness and response,â€ť it added.
The agency cautioned against sharing such information, saying it could cause panic.
It directed netizens to the Phivolcs website and social media accounts for earthquake information and other preparedness materials.
Following the magnitude 6.7 earthquake that struck Surigao del Norte last Feb. 10, Phivolcs director Renato Solidum warned residents in Metro Manila and nearby provinces to prepare for a strong earthquake that could kill thousands.
Called the â€śBig One,â€ť the said tremor, which could be as strong as magnitude 7.2, would be generated by the movement of the West Valley Fault.
While the fault is ripe for movement, Phivolcs repeatedly maintained that there is no technology available yet to predict when an earthquake will happen.
Solidum earlier said that the West Valley Fault moves roughly every 400 years. The last major earthquake generated by this fault was in 1658 or 357 years ago.
A 2004 study funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency for Phivolcs and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority showed that a magnitude 7.2 quake could kill up to 34,000 people and injured 100,000 others due to collapsed buildings.