KIDAPAWAN CITY, Philippines?THE MINDANAO FAULT, which has been restive the past few months, could trigger up to a magnitude 8 earthquake, an official of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) in North Cotabato said on Friday.
Hermis Daquipa, Phivolcs North Cotabato director, issued the statement in the wake of observations that earthquakes have become more frequent since November.
Early Friday, another earthquake jolted some parts of Mindanao less than 72 hours after an earthquake struck off Sultan Kudarat province on Tuesday.
The second quake, which was traced some 32 kilometers southeast of Tagum City, affected the areas of Davao City, General Santos City and several towns in Davao del Sur and North Cotabato.
Eleazar Jorgio, Phivolcs science researcher in Southern Mindanao, said the 8:02 a.m. quake was registered at magnitude 5.3.
There were no injuries or damages reported in both quakes.
Daquipa said the Mindanao fault line was also responsible for hundreds of earthquakes last year but only a few of them were actually felt.
Among these earthquakes were the Nov. 4 tremor that had a magnitude of 5.6 and struck 105 kilometers east of Davao City.
On Nov. 17, two mild quakes also hit Southern Mindanao and adjacent areas.
Another 5.2 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Mati, Davao Oriental, on Dec. 11.
Daquipa said the movement of the Mindanao Fault?like other fault lines?could not be predicted.
One of the strongest earthquakes in the country struck on Aug. 16, 1976, when the Mindanao Fault moved violently and triggered an Intensity 7.2 quake.
That earthquake in 1976 also triggered a tsunami that flattened several areas in the Zamboanga Peninsula and Central Mindanao, which include the Cotabato provinces, Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani.
The 1976 quake killed between 5,000 to 8,000 people.
The Philippines sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, where continental plates collide, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activities.