2016 Southern Luzon Earthquake
Damaged buildings

Damage in Manila.
Date December 31, 2016
Time 4:32 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Duration 9 minutes and 53 seconds
Magnitude 8.9
Depth 7km
Epicenter 13°47'N, 122°41'W
Type Strike - slip
Areas affected Southern Luzon, Philippines, Taiwan, Palau
Total damages $97 billion (2016 USD)
Maximum intensity VIII - Violent
Foreshocks 5
Aftershocks 3,774
Total casualties 38 fatalities, 6,788 injured, 8 missing
The 2016 Southern Luzon Earthquake was a powerful earthquake. The Earthquake was caused by the Southern Tagalog Fault Line on Batangas, Philippines, whose pressure was building up for more than 150 years. The shaking was so violent glasses were thrown in the air. The shaking was felt in Palau and Taiwan, and a magnitude 5 was felt in Brunei. It lasted for roughly 9 minutes and 53 seconds and had a moment magnitude of 8.9 Mw, resulting in an unprecedented catastrophe in its wake. Additionally, hundreds of aftershocks were reported following the quake, including a 6.9 Mw 58 minutes after the initial shock. The earthquake also triggered another earthquake with a moment magnitude of 7.1 Mw, which was centered at Manila.


On November 8, 2016, local seismologists began receiving reports of strange animal behaviour in the area. Birds vanished from the area, frogs leapt out of the pond during the night and worms began to swarm. By December 18, cats were going missing and dogs began to act aggressively. On December 28, a magnitude 5.3 struck the local area, and was one of the five foreshocks which were felt.

The Event

In the midst of people that are preparing for the New Year's Celebration on December 31, 2016, on 04:32 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, people reported their Christmas Trees already swaying before the actual tremor. The shaking began on 04:32 P.M., and magnitude 6.0 was felt 4 minutes and 2 seconds after the quake began. The ground cracked and trees were toppled. The telephone poles started to sway violently, and two poles fell on the same house. The local school was reduced to rubble, and houses collapsed. The bridges in the area went down, and the newly constructed skyscraper underwent a pancake collapse, producing a cloud of rubble.

The violent shaking was felt as far as Cavite and the Capital. Buildings in the Capital were destroyed. A 7.1 magnitude aftershock occured after the earthquake, and was also felt as far as Cebu.