A rare earthquake occurred in the southern part of Palawan earlier today, but it is not unusual, according to experts.
Jane Punongbayan, supervising science research specialist of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), said the occurrence of earthquakes in Palawan could be rare but it is not unusual due to the presence of local faults that are constantly moving.
Phivolcs recorded the 4.4-magnitude earthquake at 2:21 a.m. Monday, with its epicenter located 14 kilometers (km) southwest of Balabac, Palawan. Intensity IV was felt in Balabac, Palawan.
“This is a rare occurrence just like in other parts of the world, such as in Australia. It is rare but earthquakes still occur,” Punongbayan said.
She cited that a 6.1-magnitude earthquake occurred in Palawan in the 1970s. “But the 4.4-magnitude earthquake in Palawan is the first earthquake this year with a moderately strong intensity," Punongbayan said.
Dr. Arturo Daag, chief science research specialist of the Geology and Geophysics Division of Phivolcs said earthquakes are rare in Palawan because of the absence of active fault in the vicinity.
“The cause of earthquake earlier today was the movement of a normal fault in the area. It is called a normal fault because the movement was downward causing a regional compression or the crashing of plates together,” he explained.