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Wednesday, 17 August 2016 13:37

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology – Department of Science and Technology (PHIVOLCS-DOST) commemorates the 40th year of the 1976 Moro Gulf Earthquake and Tsunami.

On August 17, 1976 at 12:11 AM (PST), a magnitude-8.1 earthquake generated by the movement along the Cotabato trench hit the island of Mindanao. The earthquake caused damage and collapse of houses and buildings. However, the tsunami that affected 700 kilometers of coastline bordering Moro Gulf in the North Celebes Sea brought the most destruction.

The off-shore earthquake produced a massive tsunami killing about 6000 people making it the most disastrous tsunami to hit the Philippines. People were mostly asleep and were only awakened by the strong shaking. About five minutes after the earthquake, a rumbling sound was heard from the shore, and three to four succeeding waves hit the coastal areas. Some were not able to immediately evacuate to higher grounds.


Waves as high as nine (9) meters struck the town of Lebak in Sultan Kudarat. It inundated almost all coastal towns of provinces bordering Moro Gulf such as Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga Del Sur, Lanao Del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi Tawi and  cities of Cotabato and Zamboanga.

On the 40th year of the 1976 Moro Gulf Earthquake and Tsunami, PHIVOLCS will be conducting a School Fair at Don Pablo Lorenzo Memorial High School, Zamboanga City on August 18 – 19, 2016. PHIVOLCS-DOST aims to promote geologic hazard awareness and preparedness among the students. Moreover, a seminar-workshop entitled Orientation and Knowledge Sharing for Partner Agencies on Volcano, Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster Preparedness and Risk Reduction: Seminar-Workshop for KBP Partners on the use of Broadcasters’ InfoChart on Emergency Preparedness will be held to capacitate the media on how to effectively disseminate information about earthquake, tsunami and its hazards on August 20, 2016 at LM Metro Hotel, Zamboanga City.

PHIVOLCS encourages everyone to look back and remember not only the tragedy, but also the lessons we learned. Awareness and preparedness would increase our chances against natural hazards and disasters. Through the continuous monitoring, and Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) campaign of PHIVOLCS, let us keep our communities safe from and resilient to volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis and other related hazards.


>>Click here to download the PRESS RELEASE.


For more information contact:

Dr. Renato U. Solidum, Jr.


Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology

PHIVOLCS Bldg., C.P. Garcia Ave., UP Diliman Campus, Quezon City

Tel. No: (02) 926 2611 or (02) 426-1468 to 79