Leyte Earthquake:

July 06, 2017

Visual link to US government earthquake webpage

2017 Leyte earthquake

On July 6, 2017, a 6.5 magnitude earthquake hit Leyte, causing at least 4 deaths and 100 injured.[2] The quake also caused power interruptions in the whole of Eastern Visayas and nearby Bohol.

The Philippine archipelago is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, where earthquakes and volcanic activity are common.


Images of missing electricity supply

We live in Baclayon, which is about 12 Km outside Tagbilaran -the capital city of the Philippine island of Bohol.

Unfortunately for us -Leyte also supplies our electricity (as well as Cebu, and goodness knows where else).

So, on Thursday July 6 -when the 6.5 Richter magnitude earthquake struck on the neighbouring island of Leyte we also suffered a total power failure which lasted from around 4.30 PM Thursday until around 9.45 AM Saturday morning.

Still, all's well that ends well -and Fatima's family  sent us  (due to a small  mix-up) two relief
packets (with candles and goodies) by courier from Manila....

The problems with the power supply also provide a good chance for a nice long lie in bed (it gets dark at about 6 PM until about 5 AM) -but what we really missed was the water.....

No electricity generally means no water -because the municipality needs electricity to pump the water -even though  they are also supposed to have reserve generators (which often seem to fail).

However, because we are used to the problem,  we usually have a reserve supply of water in buckets and bottles.
So short periods without water are not a great problem as long as we have intermittent supplies which allow us to replenish the reserves.

 On the other hand, we do need to be careful with drinking water -and reduce the  washing of people and cloths as much as possible. We also  recycle the washing up (rinse) water as flushing for the toilet.

...and we've had lots of rain -so the fishpond and the reservoir are full, even overflowing at times.

However, the duck pond is too dirty even for ducks -sometimes....

So we survive by segregating water -for drinking and cooking -for washing and cleaning -and for
flushing toilet.... Recycling the water as much as possible....

Saturday July 8 -A packet arrives from family in Manila

Images of emergejcy supply packet sent by family in

We normally have bottled water (in a 5 gallon container) -but because it was running out  we have texted for more.
However, we received no reply (we never do -until it arrives)....

Later, we heard that the people who purify the water don't have a generator and so can't process anything.
 Actually, I'm the only one in the house who drinks purified water (I don't know why) -the others normally drink tap water....

Unfortunately, the local provider of whole grain bread also has no generator -and so there is no bread from them.
Luckily, one of the local supermarkets (that do have a generator) also bake their own "farmers loaf" -which is not too soft and white...

Because we still have candles (and go to bed early) and use gas cylinders for cooking (as well as wood in the external kitchen) the lack of electricity is not such a great problem.

Apart from the fridge -but we have cooked all the meat in the fridge to preserve it....

Images of loss of electricity after
        Leyte 2017 earthquake

The really impressive thing is the way nobody seems to bother too much.

Not that we see many people -but when we do, everything seems normal: People aren't complaining, they aren't even speculating on the problems with water and electricity -even though nobody seems to have much information about whats happening to get the system restored.

Everybody simply gets on with their lives as best as possible -and just put up with the current inconveniences
as well as they can.

Images of dinner during a power cut

There's nothing much to do in the evening except sit on the balcony in the dark and listen to the insects, watch the fireflies and then go to bed early.... Which is actually more enjoyable than it might sound. Very relaxing after a day's work, and getting up early (around 6 AM) to feed the pigs.

We do miss the fridge a bit (but seem to be managing (after cooking all the meat and eating all the perishables). The only milk available (normally)  is UHT, so that lasts in the packet outside the fridge. Butter seems to survive several days if we keep the  door shut and there are periods with electricity to enable the fridge to cool down a bit now and again.

However,  the lack of water is very annoying -but apart from that -perhaps the benefits outweigh the negative aspects of having no electricity.....

Luckily, we don't have air conditioning -and our house is naturally quite cool (by design).

Maybe life is even a little more  relaxed without the computer.... and work has to stop when it gets dark (around 6 PM) ;)

Water, Water, Everywhere.......

Images of water storage for emergency use in tropical

The water came back Monday 10 July for a while -and on again this morning (Tuesday 11 July).....
Luckily, its been only an inconvenience: It happens fairly often (although usually for shorter periods) under normal conditions.

So we have lots of buckets and bottles full, ready for emergencies.....

A while ago, when we had a drought (and no tap water) we built the reservoir -especially for the animals... That holds quite a lot -and we have water plants growing in it now.  These plants multiply quite rapidly -and one of our pigs loves to eat them.... We also have the fish pond -although we need to leave some water in it for the Tilapia living there....

We've also had lots of rain -so plenty of overflow from both ponds.

For washing up (and washing ourselves) we use as little water as possible.... Rinse the plates first with non-soapy water and give the result to the ducks (who love it)..... and use the final soapy rinse water to flush the toilet with.....

Drinking water is always boiled -and comes from bottles that we keep filled (before boiling)....

So not too bad a problem.....

Water was nearly back Saturday 15 July.... just a gap in the afternoon/evening (until midnight)....

Have washed 3 pairs of dirty shorts in the evening (after working in the garden for several days).

Images of water

Monday July 10 -A Second Packet Arrives from Manila

Images of emergency packet sent by

The rechargeable solar lamp is very useful.


Saturday July 15, the electricity seemed more or less back to normal.....
Although unfortunately, on the first "electric" night one part of town celebrated Fiesta with the traditional all night disco.... So lots of electricity for us -but no sleep.....

Sunday July 16, the water seems to have returned to normal
 (although periodic disappearance is also "normal" here)....

Now we have water and electricity in abundant supply
 -but are now surrounded by noisy radios, CD players  and karaoke machines.....

However, even as late as Wednesday 26 July we are still experiencing power outages (of a few hours) in the evenings around 5 PM to 10 PM....

Electricity Supply Timetable -July 06 to 19:
Thursday  July 6
-power out around 4,30 PM

Friday  July 7
-no power

Saturday July 8
-power on around 9.45 AM -for about an hour
-power on around 11 am for about an hour
-power off for the rest of the day

Sunday July 9
-power on around 6 AM
-power off around 9.45 AM
-power on around 5.30 PM
-power off around 6.00 PM
-power on around 8.30 PM

Monday July 10
-power off around 2.30 AM
-power on around 8.00 AM
-power off around 6.00 PM

Tuesday July 11
-power on around 0.30 AM
-power off around 6.15 AM
-power on around 12 Noon
-power off around 7.00 PM

Wednesday July 12
-power on around 3.00 PM
-power off around 7.00 PM

Thursday July 13
-power on around 0.30 AM
-power off around 8.00 AM
-power on around 12 Noon
-power off around 4.30 PM

Friday July 14
-power on around 4.30 AM
-power off around 8.45 AM
-power on around 12 Noon

Saturday July 15
-power off around 8.00 AM
-power on around Midday

Monday July 17
-power off around 12 Noon
-power on around 3.00 PM

Wednesday July 18
-power off around 5.30 PM

Thursday July 19
-power on around 11.30 AM


Water  Supply:
Following the  power cut, water is intermittent and weak (downstairs only).

Returns (in the house) around 1 PM Monday 10 July
then disappears until about 10 AM Tuesday morning (despite no electricity).
Then off again around 5 PM Tuesday (11 July).

Friday 12 July, in the evening a small trickle from tap downstairs,
 for about one hour.... enough to fill some drink water bottles.
Water then returns to inside house around 6 PM Friday -for about an hour

Saturday Morning (July 15) electricity (0.30 AM) and  water (8 AM) seemed to back to normal..... Although water disappeared again around 5.30 PM until around midnight.



Friday, 07 July 2017 18:11
 What is happening in Leyte? (from PHIVOLCS )

At 4:03 PM on 06 July 2017, Thursday, a strong earthquake of magnitude 6.5
shook the island of Leyte. The epicenter is located 15.5 km northeast of
Ormoc City, Leyte and with a focal depth of 2 km.  The earthquake was
generated by the movement of Leyte Segment of the Philippine Fault.
Small-magnitude earthquakes followed afterwards, and as of 1:00 PM of 07
July 2017, 297 aftershocks have been recorded by the PHIVOLCS seismic
monitoring network.

Based on preliminary intensity reports, the strongest ground shaking was
felt at PHIVOLCS Earthquake Intensity Scale (PEIS) VII (Destructive) at
Ormoc City and Kananga in Leyte. Furthermore, the municipalities of Jaro
and Capoocan in Leyte experienced the ground shaking at PEIS VI (Very
Strong), while the municipality of Palo in Leyte, Tacloban City, Cebu City,
and Mandaue City felt ground shaking at (PEIS) V (Strong). This earthquake
was felt at PEIS IV to I as far as 230 km away (such as Roxas City in
Capiz, Iloilo City in Iloilo, La Carlota City in Negros Occidental, and
Catarman in Northern Samar) from the epicentral area.  The strong ground
shaking near the epicentral area resulted to damages to some buildings,
roads and bridges.

Moderate magnitude earthquake has affected Leyte in the past!

At least four moderate magnitude earthquakes had affected Leyte Island in
the past. On 05 July 1994, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake was generated by the
movement of the Philippine Fault. During this event, strong ground shaking
was felt in Hinundayan, Hinunangan, San Juan, Anahawan, and St. Bernard in
Southern Leyte. On 07 June 1947, a magnitude 6.9 earthquake with the
epicenter in Carigara, Leyte affected the entire province. The 27 September
1863 magnitude 6.1 earthquake with epicenter at Kananga, Leyte was felt at
PEIS VI in the municipalities of Ormoc, Jaro, and Leyte.  The 07 Febuary
1890 magnitude 6.4 earthquake at Barugo, Leyte was strongly felt at PEIS
VIII in Barugo while other towns of Leyte province were shaken at
intensities ranging from PEIS VII to V. These earthquakes caused
significant damage to buildings and roads. Effects of liquefaction and
landslide were also documented in some areas.

From time to time, a series of moderately-sized earthquakes, referred to as
seismic swarms, are generated by active faults in the area. Some of the
seismic swarm episodes occurred in 2012, 2007, 1998, 1994, and 1991 in
Southern Leyte. Magnitude range is between 4.3 to 5.5. These events also
caused damages to buildings and some infrastructures.

Why do earthquakes occur in Leyte?

Eastern Visayas, including Leyte, is one of the seismically active areas in
the country because of the Philippine Fault and the Philippine Trench,
which are the main earthquake generators that can affect the area. In
addition, there are other local faults which can be sources of small- to
large-magnitude earthquakes.

Can these present earthquakes indicate volcanic activity?

No. There are no active volcanoes in the epicentral area.

What can we expect from the current earthquake activity?

The current seismic trend indicates that the magnitude 6.5 earthquake on 06
July 2017 is the main shock, which caused the strong ground shaking.  The
succeeding small-magnitude earthquakes are the aftershocks.  The
aftershocks may continue to occur for several days to weeks, some of which
may be felt. The probability of an earthquake higher than magnitude 6.5 to
occur is low.

Aside from strong ground shaking, what other seismic hazards are

Landslides, rock falls, and other types of mass movements may occur in
mountainous or hilly areas. Liquefaction, manifested by sand boils or
lateral spread may affect low-lying, water-logged, sandy areas at the banks
of rivers.  Tsunami is not expected from the kind of movement of the
Philippine Fault - Leyte segment.  The tsunami threat for Leyte would come
from the movement of the Philippine Trench, located east of the province.

What should be done by the affected communities?

People are reminded to be cautious of structures visibly weakened or with
signs of damage by the 06 July 2017 Leyte Earthquake, as these may be
further damaged by aftershocks. In case of houses and other buildings with
visible damage, it is best to contact the Municipal/City Engineering Office
for advice.  Engineers from the local government, other agencies and
organizations should inspect buildings and other infrastructures to
determine their integrity, and recommend appropriate actions to
concerned/affected groups or individuals.  Slopes should be checked for
tension cracks that may have resulted from the strong ground shaking.
Tension cracks may make slopes more susceptible to landslides. These areas
should be avoided.

The best course of action is preparedness. In case of another felt
earthquake, it is recommended that people protect themselves by doing the
"duck, cover and hold".  In homes and offices, heavy furniture should be
strapped to the walls, and appliances be secured to prevent them from
toppling and causing injuries to persons.

What is the role of PHIVOLCS?

PHIVOLCS operates and maintains a network of 93 seismic stations spread
across the Philippines. Data from the seismic stations are used to
determine the location, magnitude and other characteristics of the
earthquakes generated.

The closest seismic stations to Leyte are the Palo (Leyte) staff-controlled
(manned) seismic station, and the Ormoc City (Leyte), Maasin (Southern
Leyte), Catarman (Northern Samar) and Borongan (Eastern Samar)
remote-telemetered seismic stations.

Aside from monitoring the occurrences of earthquakes, PHIVOLCS also
conducts hazards analyses and assessments, and make this information
available to the public.  PHIVOLCS works hand-in-hand with other government
agencies in mitigating the damaging effects of earthquakes.

) and Twitter (@phivolcs_dost) accounts for earthquake bulletins, volcano
updates, hazard maps, and other information on earthquakes and volcanoes.
Earthquake observations may also be reported to PHIVOLCS at telephone
numbers (02) 929-9254 and (02) 426-1468 to 79, local 124 and 125.


Some Media Reports:

Thursday, July 06, 2017 -06:32 PM
Leyte quake triggers brownout in 8 Visayas provinces

Thursday, July 06, 2017 -07:00 PM
Body recovered from collapsed building after Leyte quake

Friday,  July 07, 2017 -04:51 PM
After powerful quake, Boholanos wail over long blackout

Friday,  July 07, 2017 -07:16 PM
Leyte local execs appeal for food, water

Sunday,  July 09, 2017 -07:30 AM
Power back in Bohol, but only briefly

Power blackout to end tomorrow?

Sunday, July 09, 2017
Electricity back in Bohol after Leyte shutdown

Monday, July 10, 2017
Power from Cebu to Bohol expected Monday ?NGCP

Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Power supply still unstable in Visayas

Tuesday, 11 July 2017
NGCP Earthquake Advisory as of 4PM, 11 July 2017

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Electric cooperatives in Eastern Visayas declare state of emergency

Power restored in some parts of Leyte

The long recovery from an earthquake


Leyte Information

Category: History of Leyte (province)


Bohol Information



Baclayon Earthquake
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Trevor Batten
 <trevor at tebatt dot net>
 Baclayon 2017