Tremor Sparks Chill, Vertigo

LAOAG CITY, (March 21) – The magnitude 6.4 earthquake that shook Laoag and nearby provinces on Sunday sent chills to residents as images of the massive Japan earthquake jogged their memory.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the earthquake struck at 4:26 p.m. Sunday with epicenter located 117 kilometers northeast of Laoag.

Ernesto Agnir, Jr., science researchers of the Phivolcs in Pasuquin town, said no one was hurt in the temblor but the ground shaking that lasted 12 seconds sent chills to some residents while others felt dizzy.

Reports aired by local radio stations said that residents off the shore of Pagudpud went out of their homes to check on the sea movements. No tsunami alert, however, was raised but Phivolcs cautioned residents of aftershocks.

On March 11, residents off the shorelines of Ilocos Norte moved to higher grounds after a tsunami alert was raised in 20 countries including the Philippines within the Pacific ring due to the magnitude 8.9 earthquake that hit Japan.

Sunday’s earthquake was felt at Intensity 5 in this city and the towns of Pasuquin and Pagudpud; Intensity 4 in Paoay, Ilocos Norte, and Calayan Island in Cagayan; Intensity 3 in the towns of Basco in Batanes, Sinait in Ilocos Norte and Camalaniugan and Gonzaga in Cagayan; and Intensity II in Baguio City.

It was the third moderate quake that hit Ilocos Norte this month. On March 10, a magnitude 5.2 quake hit Laoag and its nearby areas. That tremor’s epicenter was located 101 km northeast of this city. On March 4, a magnitude 3 hit 74 kilometers northeast of Laoag.

According to Phivolcs website, Intensity 5 means almost everybody feels the movement and the shaking may be strong enough to awaken sleeping people. Intensity 4 means most people inside their houses feel the shaking and objects are moved by the shaking. Intensity 3 means many people inside their houses or buildings feel the movement and hanging objects can be seen swaying.

Intensity 2 means people resting would feel the movement. (ANL/CCA-PIA)