, Volume 144, Issue 3-4, pp 875-890

Field survey of the 1994 Mindoro Island, Philippines tsunami

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Abstract

This is a report of the field survey of the November 15, 1994 Mindoro Island, Philippines, tsunami generated by an earthquake (M=7.0) with a strike-slip motion. We will report runup heights from 54 locations on Luzon, Mindoro and other smaller islands in the Cape Verde passage between Mindoro and Luzon. Most of the damage was concentrated along the northern coast of Mindoro. Runup height distribution ranged 3–4 m at the most severely damaged areas and 2–4 in neighboring areas. The tsunami-affected area was limited to within 10 km of the epicenter. The largest recorded runup value of 7.3 m was measured on the southwestern coast of Baco Island while a runup of 6.1 m was detected on its northern coastline. The earthquake and tsunami killed 62 people, injured 248 and destroyed 800 houses. As observed in other recent tsunami disasters, most of the casualties were children. Nearly all eyewitnesses interviewed described the first wave as a leading-depression wave. Eyewitnesses reported that the main direction of tsunami propagation was SW in Subaang Bay, SE in Wawa and Calapan, NE on Baco Island and N on Verde Island, suggesting that the tsunami source area was in the southern Pass of Verde Island and that the wave propagated rapidly in all directions. The fault plane extended offshore to the N of Mindoro Island, with its rupture originating S of Verde Island and propagating almost directly south to the inland of Mindoro, thereby accounting for the relatively limited damage area observed on the N of Mindoro.