Earthquakes in the Philippines

john's picture

The Philippines islands site on a complex tectonic plate boundary where major earthquakes frequently occur.  Here the Philippine Sea plate meets the Pacific plate, the largest tectonic plate, as well as lesser plates such as the Amurian plate, the Okhotsk plate, the Mariana plate, and the Eurasian plate.  [1]

On the eastern side, the Philippine Sea plate meets the Pacific plate in a major subduction zone, the Izu-Ogasawara Trench. 

The Bonin islands, including Iwo Jima and Chichi Jima are several hundred kilometers to the east near the Izu-Bonin-Mariana island arc system. 

A map of the plate boundaries and further discussion can be found by following the tab Explore > Topics > Earthquakes on this site. (or go to:

Large and great earthquakes are relatively common in the region [2]. 

Among the larger events to affect the region were the magnitude M7.9 Moro Gulf earthquake of August 16, 1976 in which about 15000 persons were killed or injured. 

Others include the M7.8 Luzon event of July 16, 1990, in which 1660 persons died, with damages of approximately $10 billion USD.

What is the probability of an earthquake in the region today?  We can use the hazard viewer on this site to find out.

In the screen shot above, we show contours corresponding to the probability of a M>6.5 earthquake over the next year from today, August 13, 2013. 

The greatest probabilities lie to the east and south of the main islands. 

If we use the circle selection tool, we can place a 100 km circle centered on Manila, the capital as shown at left.

Directing attention to the lower left corner of the page (reproduced at right), we then see a table where we can determine that the probability of a M>6 event occurring in the circle during the next year is 13.4%, while the probability of an M>7 event is 1.7%. 

Other magnitudes and times are shown in the  table at right.

[1]  Wikipedia:
[2]  Wikipedia:


DavidAlexander's picture

The East Asian countries are always in the brink of facing an earthquake. Research from rushmyessay service revealed that this is due to the shifting tectonic plates in the region. The plates are so imbalanced due to the improper layer formation during many millions of years ago. I don't think that this will stop as time goes and the intensity of the earthquakes would only increase.

linming0303's picture

It is always facing the edge of the earthquake. Studies have shown that this is due to the changing tectonic plate in the area. Due to the formation of the incorrect layers of the world, the national plate is so unbalanced. I do not think it will stop over time, and the intensity of the earthquake will only increase.i like reading and writing,also i love shopping at

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DavidAlexander's picture

Philippines got attacked with earthquakes. According to the assignments online service, it is hard to modify the damage occured in the city. I hope it will be recovered early.

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