The Philippine historical earthquakecatalog: its development, current stateand future directions

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M. L. P. Bautista
B. C. Bautista


This report will trace the development of the historical earthquake catalog of the Philippines, assess its present state
and recommend future research directions. The current Philippine historical earthquake catalog is culled from various
catalogs, both global and local, that were developed since the first Philippine catalog by Perrey was published
in 1860. While early global catalogs gave simple mention of earthquakes in the Philippines, more focused earthquake
catalogs about the Philippines gave more explicit descriptions of earthquake accounts and adopted descriptions
by local historians. Over the years, various historians and seismologists continued to compile their catalogs
whose contents depended on the author?s perspectives and purposes. These works varied from simple listings to others including detailed descriptions. It was only recently that an attempt made to parameterize the magnitudes and epicenters of Philippine historical earthquakes using magnitude-felt area relations was done. A more detailed catalog, however, is now underway that will show details of intensity distribution for each significant historical earthquake. By comparing the historical catalog with the recent catalog and assuming that the recent catalog is
complete, we find that there are still a substantial amount of historical earthquakes that needs to be reviewed and
located. Possible sources of new information are local libraries, museums and archives in the Philippines, Spain
and other Southeast Asian countries to which the country was in contact with during historical times.

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How to Cite
Bautista, M. L. P. and Bautista, B. C. (2004) “The Philippine historical earthquakecatalog: its development, current stateand future directions”, Annals of Geophysics, 47(2-3). doi: 10.4401/ag-3307.