The longest earthquake that I experienced!

Wow, we got our big shocking earthquake a few nights back. My God,  felt that it would never end. It was really scary. I’ve been experiencing earthquake here and abroad, but never felt like forever until the other night. It’s one of the unforgettable experiences for us here. Just by looking at the faces at the people at my house, we had one thing in common “very scared”.

Because of the intensity of the quake, we decided to try to watch on our TV stations here in the Philippines. My goodness we didn’t see any breaking news from our local TV stations or the stations from Manila. Are you kidding me? Did you know where we got some of the warnings and the size of the quake? Of course from the cable news channels abroad like CNN, BBC, FOX NEWS, AL-JAZEERA, NEW ASIA, BLOOMBERG. Can you imagine no cable news channel from the Philippines takes the news on air minutes after the quake? We have ANC and other news network that are similar to CNN here. But unfortunately they still continue on with their regular programming. Solar TV get live maybe like 45 minutes after. I was even turning on our local radio FM and AM. No live feed from them either.

Earthquake shakes the Philippines
Earthquake shakes the Philippines

So it got us thinking, is it because the event was outside Manila. Is that why the cable news station in Manila didn’t make any effort to feature the event? It was really frustrating that you have to know from abroad of what’s going here in our country. Like a lot of people were really tuning on to see what was the announcement from PhilVocs, is there a tsunami on the way? We saw on CNN and other cable news abroad giving a tsunami warning. It would be nice to see our very own TVstations (local & cable channel) here in the Philippines featuring people from PhilVocs and have their advice relay to people. Some people say that you can see it on Twitter of what’s going on, hey the people in the mountain don’t have twitter account and cable news channel. They just rely on our local TV and radio stations here.

Just like when they had that tsunami warning. I told my family in GenSan right away. So they were up just to make sure. Those neighbors that don’t have the access to any information just went on to sleep and just didn’t think of any danger. Well, it turned out that the tsunami warning was lifted like an hour or so after the quake. But still, what if there was really a tsunami and people didn’t know about it because no TV and radio coverage from the local stations. Many people might die then. Really its annoying to know that everything will be decided by the Manila office even the event were outside there. As everything goes here in the Philippines all the stuff had the decision of the Manila office or something.

Earthquake damage in the Philippines
Earthquake damage in the Philippines

I think I’m not the only one that’s frustrated about it.  I saw all of those frustrations too from some of my friends on their walls on Facebook. We have the same thoughts, when something happened in Manila the stations there feature everything right away. Why can’t they do like that to the people in the other places here? Are they thinking we are just not as good as them? They should think where they get their food everyday. They don’t grow veggies and meat in the big city. Those things came from the provinces like Mindanao and the Visayas too. We work hard here like they do.

As if it’s not worth it to subscribe to the cable channel from Manila. But I know its needed too. I’m just so annoyed I guess. I have to vent a little here. Thank you guys for listening.

What do you think though? Are you okay that the stations here don’t bother to feature any event outside Manila? Let me know!


Post Author: Feyma (353 Posts)

Feyma Martin is a Columnist here on the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine, she is the wife of site Publisher, Bob Martin. Feyma is originally from the Philippines, but went to the USA for 10 years after marrying Bob in 1990. Bob & Feyma moved to the Philippines to live permanently in 2000.

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    • says

      Hi Gary – Like what I said on my post, the people in the provinces don’t have facebook. You know the older people. I’m telling you my sisters and other family there in our farm don’t have internet. They rely on TV and radio coverage. The cell phones that they have just the cheaper one that they can just call and text.

  1. RandyL says

    Hi Feyma. Sadly, news of disaster travel slowest in the areas of immediate destruction. Maybe because it is more chaotic when it is experienced first hand. It can always seem like business as usual when it is not happening to you (Manila). It might also be a case where PHILVOCS relies so much on information provided by the USGS and NOAA that they hesitate until they get further guidance. There is no reason though that the local broadcasts were slow to respond to even a “Nowcast” or public warning.

    • says

      Hi RandyL – I know what you mean. I’m with you why the local stations didn’t broadcast the warning though. I’m really puzzled by it.

      Thank you for sharing here your thoughts. Have a great day!

  2. Jamie says

    I think there should be a media representative from PhilVocs that can appear on news stations to give timely reports about events like this. Makes me wonder what more could have been done to notify ahead of time all the people that drowned in the Illigan area a little while back.

    • says

      Hi Jamie – That’s not a bad idea and I agree they should have. Warnings were so needed especially to the people that had no internet. We would not have the “What If’s” now in the minds of a lot of people. The Manila main offices of every big companies here in the Philippines has to do something for their provincial offices. They should let the province offices decide what to do in there local area.

      Thank you for your comment. Have a good day!

  3. says

    Even though I’m in the US, I first checked for TV coverage from the Philippines — and found none. I heard the first report of a 7.9 quake from the USCGS, that’s when I started to search. That’s when I was able to pass on some information to you folks. Quakes are scary for anyone that has never experienced them for sure. I understand your concern that there is no local media coverage. The fact that it was a long, roller type quake makes it seem really bad. But the lift and drop type of quake is far more damaging – and more likely to cause tsunamis. I lived through all types in California and the worst was a 6.5 lifter that actually bounced me out of bed. I hope you local authorities also have forewarned people there what actions to take or not take in the case of a quake. At least this quake I heard the damage wasn’t too bad, and only one death from a mudslide. I may be wrong, but I think the road damage photo is from a lift type quake that occurred back in February in another part of the Philippines. Glad you all made it through it safely.

  4. SergeDavao says

    i was watching ANC, hours after quake happened, then they called person from PhilVocs, he sound like just woke up from peaceful sleep & here’s call from ANC, lol

    • says

      HI Serge – That’s what I felt when someone from the agency was on air as if they were bothered by the call or something. Maybe you are right he might just be awaken by a call from the TV station. Now you got me thinking.

      Don’t you think the PHILVOCS people should be up 24/7. I mean they should be on rotation. They know that we have so many earthquakes here. Oh well, I guess I should just say “whatever”.

      Good to see you here Serge. Have a wonderful day!

  5. Toti says

    Hi Feyma, I felt the same way about the earthquake we experienced in DC last year. Actually, my first earthquake experience. Scary. Makes me enjoy life more. You’ll never know when one leave this world.

    I saw the earthquake over there in Facebook from Bob your husband, then called my sister in Southern Leyte immediately and they said they felt it too. Don’t know about the media though. Take care.

    • says

      Hi Toti – I know what you mean. It’s just really scary though. My first time experiencing quake that last way longer than before.

      Yep, Bob posted on facebook right away. I’m like you I called up my family from other parts of town here. I have to tell them about the tsunami alert. They too were really scared.

      Hope your family in Leyte were all safe. Thank you for stopping by here. Hope to see you here in Davao in the future. Take care!

  6. Lenny says

    We went to the TV and nothing for over an hour was mentioned…Couldn’t believe it. I would imagine the government … hopefully… now will do something about this…

    • says

      Hi Lenny – I know, nothing from the local TV here for almost an hour. We got all the info from the networks abroad. It’s really ridiculous at that time. I know internet is there, but what about the other local people that don’t have the net. Gee, the PHILVOCS has to do something though, I think.

      Anyway, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts here. Have a pleasant day!

  7. ABB says

    Just how do they normally alert the people?
    How are those living on the coast line alerted?
    What system do they have in place, if any?
    -ABB (Lord willing, coming soon)

    • says

      Hi ABB – To be honest, I guess just by other family member. That’s how I told my family about the tsunami warning. Since no TV or Radio coverage, I guess people here just have to rely on the word of mouth from families or neighbors.

      If households had internet of course they will get warnings in an instant. But not all household here had internet access.

      Good to see you here. You thinking of retiring here? Good luck to you then.

      Have a nice day!

  8. ABB says

    Thanks Feyma,

    I am planning on coming and working “long term,” years, maybe the rest of my life, Lord knows. I’m in my planning stage in coming, to help some of our brethren that are a part of the Lord’s church.

    Now, when you say no radio or TV coverage, does that mean they “could have” but just didn’t?

    Or does that mean they just do not have a way to truly reach all the people.

    Of course here in the states, we have the speakers that “blare” warnings, but they are only good if you happen to be outside and close enough to hear them.

    TV and Radio – Yes, works well.

    We have a NOAA radio system, works well and is fairly cheap. Do not the Philippines have something such as this.

    It concerns me for them that live right on the coast lines. How are they warned?


  9. BillB says

    Just some info for people. If you go to the USGS website you can get info about earthquakes that have happened. They have a page on the stie that shows all the quakes that have happened in the last two weeks. They all show quakes that have happened less than a hour. The bad thing is that if outside the US of A it can take up to 30 mins to update the info, but I have seen quakes on there with in 5 mins after they happen here in the Philippines, so sometimes the info is updated very quickly even if it is outside the US of A.

    The web site is:

    • BillB says

      Some info that I just got off the site. There have been 8 earthquakes within 500 km of Davao with the closest about 110 km. The one the was the closest was a 4.9 and was on Sep 7th and 2:43 AM. The biggest was 5.4 and was also the most recent, it was about 400 km from Davao and happened at 1:54 PM today the 13th of Sep. The link to the main page for earthquakes below. The other link is to the main page of the USGS.

      I also feel that the Philippine goverment should have something in place to let people know of a emergancy. It would not be hard to do just as they have in the US of A where the goverment has a way to break in on TV and Raido broadcast to let the local people in an area that something is going on. The broadcast does not have to been nation wide just the area that is effected. It would not be hard for them to setup and would not cost a lot either.

  10. Scott Fortune says

    It boggles my mind that there isn’t a system in place to alert citizens immediately about an oncoming possible disaster. I’ve seen Filipinos on TV here in the U.S. discussing matters like the eartquake you had, so I assumed that they were alerting you as well. This is unbelievable, and a better system NEEDS to be put in place.

  11. sugar says

    I guess it’s because there was another big local news (death of secretary) that’s why it didn’t get that much coverage…

  12. PapaDuck says

    Mrs Feyma,

    Thanks so much for the info. Didn’t realize local and Manila stations didn’t broadcast any news of the quake. You would have thought at least a Davao station would have had breaking news. Maybe because they happen so often is why they may not have mentioned it right away. Take care and stay safe.

  13. ABB says

    Oops – There you go again!
    Preliminary Earthquake Report Magnitude 4.8 mb
    Date-Time 28 Sep 2012 14:25:47 UTC

    Careful Be!

  14. abb says

    Feyma and Bob,

    I thought you and your expats that live there in the Philippines might be interested in this.
    The USGS ( United States Geological Survey) Netquake project is looking for volunteers living outside the U.S. for placement of a small seismograph that only transmits through your existing broadband/WiFi when a quake happens. Here is the information.

    USGS ( United States Geological Survey)
    Netquakes: Signup

    Note: At this time, we are not looking for volunteers living outside the U.S.

    [Also] We are currently looking for volunteers living in Hawaii, Northern California, Pacific Northwest, Southern California and Utah to host NetQuakes instruments.

    The USGS is trying to achieve a denser and more uniform spacing of seismographs in select urban areas to provide better measurements of ground motion during earthquakes. These measurements improve our ability to make rapid post-earthquake assessments of expected damage and contribute to the continuing development of engineering standards for construction.

    To accomplish this, we developed a new type of digital seismograph that communicates its data to the USGS via the internet. The seismographs connect to a local network via WiFi and use existing broadband connections to transmit data after an earthquake. The instruments are designed to be installed in private homes, businesses, public buildings and schools with an existing broadband connection to the internet.

    Might be interesting !!!!!!!


  15. abb says

    Never mind the above comments by myself…….Sorry, I read it wrong, I thought they “were” looking for volunteers living outside the U.S. but they are not.

    You can delete both. LOL!

  16. abb says

    Now you all are shaking on the other end…….

    Preliminary Earthquake Report Magnitude 5.6 Mwb
    Date-Time 7 Oct 2012 03:14:23 UTC
    7 Oct 2012 11:14:23 near epicenter
    6 Oct 2012 21:14:23 standard time in your timezone

    Location 18.558N 120.953E
    Depth 34 km
    Distances 52 km (32 miles) NE (46 degrees) of Laoag, Luzon, Philippines
    188 km (117 miles) NNW (329 degrees) of Ilagan, Luzon, Philippines
    234 km (145 miles) SSW (208 degrees) of Basco, Batan Islands, Philippines
    241 km (150 miles) N (8 degrees) of Baguio, Luzon, Philippines
    438 km (272 miles) N (360 degrees) of MANILA, Philippines


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