Photo above: At Inabanga, Bohol, where the ground rose about 3 meters. If you look closely, there’s a person among the rubble, for scale.
The 2013 Bohol earthquake was one of the Philippines’ biggest earthquakes in recent history. It was a terrible disaster; killing a lot of people and damaging millions of pesos worth of properties.
What’s striking about this earthquake was that it was caused by an unmapped fault. No one knew it was there. In a country like the Philippines where earthquakes happen all the time, not knowing where potential earthquake generators are can prove fatal, as was the case in 2013.
The thing about earthquakes is that they’re mostly caused by sudden movements in faults–big cracks in the earth’s crust. So if you know where the faults are, you pretty much have a good idea where strong earthquakes may happen. It’s not always straightforward though, and there’s still a lot we don’t know about earthquakes, but finding where the faults are is always a good first step.
So when we got an opportunity to go there and study the event, we packed our bags and headed there. As an added bonus, three of my friends used this chance to write their masters theses on different aspects of the earthquake.
We were able to go there a number of times, and hopefully I get the chance to write about what we found out soon.