MANILA, OCTOBER 28, 2013 (PHILSTAR) By Camille Diola - Scientists of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology on Tuesday discover the ground rupture in Barangay Anonang, Inabanga, Bohol.

MANILA, Philippines - State volcanologists who have been hunting for a hidden fault discovered a new fault system in Inabanga town that triggered the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that shook Bohol and killed hundreds.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Tuesday noticed ground rupture in Barangay Anunang, Inabanga in the devastated Bohol province that served as a surface representation of a fault underneath.

Phivolcs' started a survey last October 16, the day after the quake hit Central Visayas, to trace where it came from.

Phivolcs research analyst Nolan Evangelista said in a state news report that the ground rupture occurs only once in 100 years.

The new fault is manifested on the surface with the upliftment of the southern part of the ground rupture up to almost three meters, while the northern part remains lower, Evangelista said.

He explained that the layering of the rocks beneath the rupture break during an earthquake, creating a sound similar to an explosion.

Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum had said that the 7.2-magnitude ground shaking has an energy equivalent to around 32 Hiroshima atomic bombs.

As of posting time, over 190 people were discovered dead at the aftermath of the quake, mostly in Bohol and others in Cebu. The quake also destroyed centuries-old national treasures estimated to cost over P100 million to rehabilitate.

Local residents, meanwhile, discovered sinkholes in several towns as ground surface caved in.

Mines and Geosciences Bureau acting directoR Leo Jasareño said that areas in Bohol, known to be lying on limestones, are likely to have sinkholes after an intense ground activity.

"Ang sinkhole (ay lumalabas kapag) nabubuo ang butas sa ilalim ng lupa dahil nandun ang limestone," he said in a television interview.


Mass in Loboc amid rubble, aftershocks By Carmel Loise Matus Inquirer Visayas
2:40 am | Monday, October 21st, 2013

MASS BY THE RUINS Parishioners of Loboc town in Bohol province hear Mass at a kiosk beside the rubble of their church, which was built in 1602. Heritage churches in five other towns in the province were destroyed by last week’s earthquake. MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

LOBOC, Bohol—At least 300 residents sat on concrete benches and monobloc chairs and even on the ground as they heard Mass at the kiosk amid the rubble of their 17th-century church.

Two aftershocks were felt during the Mass but everyone stayed in their seats.

Alicia Miano, 63, later told the Inquirer that she was shaking as she felt the earth tremble for a few seconds during the Mass.

“I called on Him,” she said, meaning she prayed to God for help.

She said the Loboc residents were still afraid of the strong aftershocks, although they had learned to laugh about the experience, too.

Search for bodies
Around them efforts continued to find the bodies of the missing from last Tuesdays’s 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck Central Visayas, killing at least 185 people and destroying centuries-old churches.

The death toll is likely to approach 200 as recovery teams focus on finding bodies buried under landslides and fallen structures, an official said on Sunday.

A total of 185 deaths have been confirmed so far. Bohol suffered 172 dead, more than 120 from falling structures, said Augusto Escopia, provincial information officer.

“Our conservative estimate is that there are roughly 180 to 185 dead in Bohol alone,” Escopia said on Sunday, a day after authorities halted the search for survivors and focused on recovering bodies.

The quake also left 12 others dead in Cebu and one in Siquijor, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

One more week

The recovery of bodies in Bohol will likely last one more week, Escopia said, adding that reports from some hospitals indicated that there were further fatalities to be counted.

There are also nine more missing in Bohol, he added amid fading hopes they would be found alive.

Before the 8:30 a.m. Mass in Loboc started, a lay minister distributed small pieces of paper to the parishioners for them to write their petitions.

The petitions were read before the opening prayer. It didn’t come as a surprise that most of the petitioners asked God to keep their families safe.

Children’s choir

The famous Loboc Children’s Choir sang the hymns. At the end of the Mass, everyone was having goosebumps and was teary-eyed while listening to the children’s version of “The Prayer,” which was popularized by Canadian singer Celine Dion and Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli.

“I felt as if my heart was being squeezed. Their song moved me to tears because it gave us hope,” Miano said.

Choir member Carmel Mae Inson, 15, admitted that she was still frightened by the aftershocks, but she didn’t want her fear to stop her from singing songs that could inspire the people of Loboc.

“Despite what happened, through our songs, we can give hope and inspiration to the people here so they will no longer be afraid,” she told the Inquirer.

Other choir members didn’t attend the Mass.

“They are more concerned about their safety,” said Mae Ann Cantonjos, 15.

Cantonjos said some choir members were still in shock and fled with their families either in the mountain villages or in the capital Tagbilaran City.

17th-century church

Loboc Church, built in 1602, was among six churches in the province that were destroyed by the earthquake.
The five others were old churches in Clarin, Inabanga, Loon, Maribojoc and Tubigon.

At least 17 churches were also damaged in the quake. These are in Antequera, Baclayon, Bilar, Calape, Carmen, Corellas, Cortes, Danao, Dauis, Dimiao, Lila, Loay, Panglao, Sikatuna, Tagbilaran, Talibon and Trinidad.

Most of the churches were among the oldest in the country and had been declared as heritage sites by Unesco.

Despite the devastation, churches in Bohol went ahead with Masses on Sunday, although they limited the number to two—one early in the morning and another late in the afternoon.

In Loboc, Fr. Andres Ayco, the town’s parish priest, said they decided to hold three Masses—6 a.m., 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.—because they were not able to announce that they were canceling the 8:30 a.m. Mass.

But he added they decided to hold a procession in the afternoon that passed through villages that were badly damaged by the earthquake to bring hope to the residents.

Borrowed image

They used the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, which the parish borrowed from Himilian Church in Kalunasan Norte village, as the image of their patron saint—the Virgin of Loboc—had not been retrieved from the rubble.

Ayco said he planned to hold Masses at the town’s sports complex in the coming weeks.

“The people need their church,” he said.

He urged the parents to make their children understand that there would still be aftershocks.

“Behind their suffering is their faith in the Lord,” he said.

In his homily, Ayco said there were two suggestions on how to rebuild their church.

One was to rebuild Loboc Church to its original form. The second was to construct a new church in a different location and let the ruins of the old Loboc Church stay there.

Ayco said the final decision would have to be agreed upon by each chapel in the town’s 28 villages and through public consultations.

Loboc Mayor Helen Alaba, who attended the Mass, said she would wait for the result of the consultative meeting on what to do with the church, which had been classified as a national heritage in 2000 by the National Historical Commission.

Virgin’s help

She stressed that the residents believed that the Virgin of Loboc would help them cope with the tragedy.

“We remain hopeful that Loboc will rise up,” she said.

She said the residents were in need of food aid, especially that most of them here had not returned for work. Water and electricity were restored on Sunday.

Alaba added that the residents would also have to restore the river terminals that were destroyed by the quake so the popular Loboc River Cruise could resume.—With a report from AFP

Originally posted: 5:30 pm | Sunday, October 20th, 2013

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved