THE FOLLOWING are the most destructive earthquakes that hit Metro Manila since the late 20th century:

August 2, 1968 — The Casiguran Earthquake

A 7.3 magnitude earthquake shook the town of Casiguran, Aurora at 4:21 pm. It left 270 people dead and 261 injured. The Ruby Tower, a six-storey building in Binondo, crumbled and several buildings near Escolta damaged. Belen Prieto, a Pharmacy student, was a survivor of the building crash. Fourteen Thomasian Charity Hospital medical interns aided in the rescue work in the Ruby Tower disaster. Landslides also occurred within the mountainous area of Casiguran. Further, a tsunami occurred as far as Japan.

March 17, 1973 — The Ragay Gulf Earthquake

An Intensity-7 earthquake rocked the town of Calauag, Quezon, destroying 98 houses. In barrio Sumulong of the same town, 70 per cent of the school buildings were damaged. An Intensity-6 earthquake also damaged the Manila South Road.

July 16, 1990 — The Luzon Earthquake Rupture

It was considered as one of the most devastating earthquakes that hit Luzon, registering a magnitude of 7.7 in Richter scale. It is unequaled in the number of casualties in Philippine history. Damage to buildings, infrastructures, and properties amounted to at least P10 billion, mostly because of ground ruptures. In Baguio, the most devastated city during the quake, the five-star Hyatt Terraces Plaza collapsed, killing about 50 people. Overall, around 148,000 people were left homeless and at least 2,000 were killed and 3,500 injured. Cracks appeared on the walls of the Main Bldg. but were repaired afterwards. Marie Jeanette P. Cordero with reports from www.phivolcs.dost.gov

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