By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
A destructive 5.9-magnitude earthquake jolted Batanes around 7:30 a.m. Saturday, just three hours after a strong tremor measuring 5.4-magnitude hit the province.
Batanes was first jolted by a 5.4-magnitude tremor around 4:16 a.m., as recorded by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs). Its epicenter was traced 12 km northeast of Itbayat, Batanes.
The earthquake was felt as a “very strong” tremor at Intensity 6 in Itbayat, while it was felt as a “weak” tremor at Intensity 3 in Basco and Sabtang in Batanes.
Science and Technology Undersecretary and Phivolcs OIC Renato Solidum said the earthquakes were generated by an offshore fault, but noted there was no destructive tsunami threat to the Philippines.
A strong quake was recorded at 7:37 a.m., measuring 5.9-magnitude on the Richter scale.
It originated in the same area as the 5.4-magnitude earthquake.
Phivolcs said “destructive” tremors were felt due to the 5.9-magnitude temblor. It was felt as an Intensity 7 quake in Itbayat, and Intensity 4 in Basco.
Another 5.4-magnitude quake was recorded around 9:24 a.m. and was felt at Intensity 4 in Basco.
So far, at least seven lesser-sized aftershocks were also recorded by Phivolcs on Saturday morning.
Phivolcs said aftershocks are still likely to occur.