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32 Years: The 1990 Luzon Earthquake

At around 4:30 in the afternoon 32 years ago, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake rocked Luzon.

With a rumbling which lasted for around 45 seconds, an estimated casualty count of not less than 2,400 were recorded. According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), the quake’s trigger was an unprecedented movement in the northwest segment of the Philippine Fault Zone. Areas affected heavily spanned amongst the cities of Baguio, Agoo, and Dagupan.

The city of Baguio was reduced to bubble, as it suffered tremendous damages to its tourist structures. These included the Nevada Hotel, the Baguio Hilltop Hotel, and Hyatt Terraces Plaza.

Total cost of damage overall amounts to an estimated 369 Million US Dollars.

Tara Lukasik, an editor for the International Code Council and the Building Safety Journal, wrote:

“The earthquake left not just massive damage and casualties, but also lessons about disaster readiness. Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology Director Dr. Renato Solidum said the 1990 earthquake left four valuable lessons: The public needs to respond properly during earthquakes. Hazards and their effects should be simulated. Building codes should be implemented properly. And land use should be carefully planned.”



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