Strong dangerous coastal earthquake near Guiuan, Samar, The Philippines - high chance of landslides

Earthquake overview : Strong coastal earthquake. Initial reports where mentioning a magnitude of 5.9, but PHIVOLCS, the Philippines seismological agency reports a far less dangerous M 5.0 at a depth of 42 km.
"I have Felt it" Reports --> see below + Let us know "how you have felt this earthquake"
To read the full story as it happened, we advise our readers to start at the lower part of the page (earthquake data).

Keep this page open or return regularly as we will be back with more details when they become available

Landscape at the peninsula closest to the epicenter - Panoramio image by Ronnie Muring

- Update 18/01 - 08:35 UTC
Philippine press is only talking in generalities about this earthquake. No specific information, although various reports we have received at earthquake-report.com are talking about serious shaking and damage. We will follow up this story as we expect to find some more news the coming hours.

- Update 18/01 - 08:03 UTC
Salcedo (Eastern Samar) : It was our first experience of a strong earthquake as me and my family were screaming while we are watching our things falling and broken. My kids are too much afraid. Our neighbor house collapsed, there are damages reported in our marketplace. But we are thankful that no one was injured.

- IMPORTANT Update 15:58
Phivolcs has also updated his earthquake data as follows : Magnitude 5.9 at a depth of only 25 km, completely the opposite from 1 hour ago

- Update 15:58
Phivolcs is expecting damage from this earthquake.  ER estimates that the damage will be minor, if any, but as described by meteorologist Robert Speta in the video below, the chance on landslides in the current weather conditions is "very high". The ground motion sets many earth masses gliding.

- Update 15:55
Phivolcs has reported the following intensities (more or less the same than USGS)
Intensity V- Salcedo, Borongan and Guiuan, Eastern Samar
Intensity IV- Tacloban, Palo and Tolosa, Leyte; Catbalogan, Samar; Dolores and San Policarpo, Eastern Samar
Intensity III- St. Bernard and Hinunangan, Southern Leyte; Catarman, Northern Samar
Intensity II- Naval, Biliran
Intensity I- Cebu City
The PHIVOLCS intensity  is ranging from 1 to 10
V, the max. intensity reported by PHIVOLCS is described as : Strong - Generally felt by most people indoors and outdoors. Many sleeping people are awakened. Some are frightened, some run outdoors. Strong shaking and rocking felt throughout building. Hanging objects swing violently. Dining utensils clatter and clink; some are broken. Small, light and unstable objects may fall or overturn. Liquids spill from filled open containers. Standing vehicles rock noticeably. Shaking of leaves and twigs of trees are noticeable

- Update 15:47
USGS has decreased his magnitude data from 5.9 to 5.7. The depth has been updated from 50 km to 36 km. As the calculation of earthquake data is very difficult, it is normal that preliminary data are updated later on, however a such a big difference in between a local agency (Phivolcs) and USGS is rather seldom.

- Update 15:22
The local SAMAR press has not released any news bulletins until now, always a good sign with these kind of earthquakes. We will follow up this event and will update this article if necessary.

- Update 14:59
Reported intensities (real-time reports) are ranging from IV MMI to a max. of V MMI (moderate shaking).

- Update 14:58
PHIVOLCS is locating the epicenter approx. 60 km out in the sea.

- Update 14:53
The GDACS theoretical engine has calculated that NO people are living within 10 km of the epicenter (GDACS is probably using the USGS data in this case). 35,009 people are living in the radius in between 10 and 20 km from the epicenter.

- Update 14:37
PHIVOLCS, the Philippines seismological agency and much to be trusted, reports a magnitude of 5.0 at a depth of 42 km. What looked like a very dangerous earthquake at the start is thus reduced to an earthquake who might inflict some minor damage but certainly no serious injuries or serious damage.

- Update 14:28
USGS theoretical calculations are expecting a VI (strong shaking) MMI for 16,000 people (mainly the population of the peninsula)
- 302,000 people will endure a moderate V MMI shaking and 4.7 million people a light shaking.

- Update 14:25
EMSC reports a magnitude of M 5.6 at a depth of 67 km
GFZ : M 5.7  at depth of 45 km

Strong coastal earthquake. We call this earthquake dangerous because of the uncertainty of the epicenter location (20 km difference can be a world of difference).


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"I Have Felt It" reports as received by Earthquake-Report.com
Abuyog, Leyte : I was watching some 3D pics then i saw the screen moving and felt the ground. It lasted for about 20 seconds.
Salcedo (Eastern Samar) : It was our first experience of a strong earthquake as me and my family were screaming while we are watching our things falling and broken. My kids are too much afraid. Our neighbor house collapsed, there are damages reported in our marketplace. But we are thankful that no one was injured.


Shaking map - image courtesy USGS

Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : 5.9  5.7
UTC Time : Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 12:55:38 UTC
Local time at epicenter : Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 08:55:38 PM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 50 km  36 km
Geo-location(s) :
19 km (12 miles) NE (46°) from Guiuan, Samar, Philippines
93 km (57 miles) E (97°) from Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines

Links to important maps
USGS Did You Feel It Map
Google satellite map showing the epicenter and the surrounding area
Historic earthquakes map
Seismic hazard map
Shaking map
Focal mechanism report
Human impact map
GDACS earthquake report

Explanatory Video made just after the earthquake happened
Robert Speta made the following breaking news report just after the earthquake took place. His warnings for landslides are still very true but some data has been updated later on.

 

QuakeSOS+ and QuakeSOS free are iPhone applications developed by Armand Vervaeck, the founder of Earthquake Report. The Application simplifies immediate group communication to friends and family members (with your exact GPS location) and is feeding the users with Earthquake Report news. The 0.99 US$ QuakeSOS+ version will support the activities of SOS Earthquakes.

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I did feel it – Ik heb het gevoeld – Το έκανα αισθάνεται Yo lo he sentido – 我的确感到了 – 私はそれを感じていました- Ich habe es gefühlt – Bunu hissediyorum yaptı – لم أشعر أنه