Phivolcs: No magnitude 8 quake, no new volcano
MANILA - The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology on Monday quashed rumors that a new volcano is growing in Bohol province and that a magnitude 8 earthquake will hit parts of the Visayas soon.
In a press briefing, Phivolcs director Renato Solidum refuted text and Facebook rumors that a magnitude 8 earthquake would hit Bohol and Cebu after last week's magnitude 7.2 quake. He said no instrument has been invented that can predict earthquakes.
He said there is very little chance that an even more powerful quake will hit the Visayas.
"Napakaliit na ang tsansa na may mas malakas pa na kasunod. Kagaya sa Negros 2012 quake, ang mga sumunod na aftershocks ay mas mahihina na," he said.
He also said aftershocks will become less frequent in the coming weeks.
"Yung fault na gumalaw ay nag-release na ng enerhiya na napakalakas, 7.2. So pambihira po na ganun kalakas na lindol at ganun lang at hindi naman ganun kahabaan ay mag-ge-generate pa ng magnitude 8. Hindi tayo umaasa na magnitude 8 pa yung lugar na yan. Imposible," he said.
Solidum advised against spreading hoax text messages, saying that these text messages spread fear.
"We can't predict earthquakes. We can't say the exact time, exact date and exact magnitude before it happens," he said.
No new volcano
Solidum also denied that the appearance of sinkholes in parts of Bohol is a sign that a volcano is forming in the province.
He said the sinkholes are the result of liquefaction after last week's magnitude 7.2 earthquake and not because of a new volcano.
"Kagabi, maraming kumakalat na hoax text at ako ay napuyat dail dun. May bulkan bang tumutubo sa Bohol? Wala. Imposible hong magkaroon ng bulkan sa Bohol. Liquefaction ang mga naobserbahang pagsulpot ng putik at tubig na minsan ay may mabahong amoy, amoy asupre, dahil sa lumalabas na na-trap na gases (sulfur dioxide) sa loob ng lupa," the Phivolcs chief said.
He described liquefaction as the ejection of buried soft sediments and fluids. He said some of the alleged sinkholes in Loon, Bohol are not true sinkholes but were only formed due to liquefaction.
At least 16 Phivolcs personnel are now in Bohol and Cebu to assist local officials. They consist of geologists, seismologists, civil engineers and information specialists.