PSA: You can report earthquake intensities to Phivolcs. Here’s how

June 15, 2023 - 5:24 PM
Cellphone users
Closeup of hands holding mobile phones (Image by Freepik)

Felt the ground shaking?

Did you know you can report earthquakes to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology or Phivolcs through your phone?

The government agency on Thursday reposted its 2022 Facebook post which informed the public about quake intensities and how to report it to the authorities to be included in its earthquake information bulletins.

Phivolcs releases such updates about quakes on its website and social media channels to inform the public about the event.

Minutes after the magnitude 6.3 earthquake in Calatagan, Batangas on Thursday morning, the agency reshared its old post to make the public aware of their earthquake reporting system.

The Batangas earthquake was felt in areas as far as Metro Manila and other nearby provinces.

READ: Magnitude 6.3 earthquake strikes Batangas‘#EarthquakePH’ trends online as Pinoys report tremors on June 15

According to them, the public can determine the earthquake intensity through their Phivolcs Earthquake Intensity Scale or PEIS guide which is based on their experience and observations during the tremor.

They can rank the intensity by considering the following criteria:

Phivolcs Earthquake Intensity Scale
1Scarcely Perceptible
  • Perceptible to people under favorable circumstances.
  • Delicately balanced objects are slightly disturbed.
  • Still water in containers sways slowly.
2Slightly Felt
  • Felt by few individuals at rest indoors.
  • Hanging objects swing slightly.
  • Still water in containers sways noticeably.
  • Felt by many people indoors, especially on upper floors of buildings.
  • Vibration is felt like one passing of a light truck.
  • Dizziness and nausea are experienced by some.
  • Hanging objects swing moderately.
  • Still water in containers sways moderately.
4Moderately Strong
  • Generally felt by people indoors and by some people outdoors.
  • Light sleepers are awakened.
  • Vibration is felt like the passing of a heavy truck.
  • Hanging objects swing considerably.
  • Dinner, plates, glasses, windows, and doors rattle.
  • Floors and walls of wood-framed buildings creak.
  • Standing motor cars may rock slightly.
  • Liquids in containers are slightly disturbed.
  • Water in containers sways strongly.
  • Rumbling sound may sometimes be heard.
  • Generally felt by most people indoors and outdoors.
  • Many sleeping people are awakened.
  • Some are frightened and some run outdoors.
  • Strong shaking and rocking are felt throughout the building.
  • Hanging objects swing violently.
  • Dining utensils clatter and clink; some are broken.
  • Small, light, and unstable objects may fall or overturn.
  • Liquids spill from filled open containers.
  • Standing vehicles rock noticeably.
  • Shaking of leaves and twigs of trees is noticeable.
6Very Strong
  • Many people are frightened; many run outdoors.
  • Some people lose their balance.
  • Motorists feel like driving with flat tires.
  • Heavy objects or furniture move or may be shifted.
  • Small church bells may ring.
  • Wall plaster may crack.
  • Very old or poorly built houses and man-made structures are slightly damaged, though well-built structures are unaffected.
  • Limited rockfalls and rolling boulders occur in hilly to mountainous areas and escarpments.
  • Trees are noticeably shaken.
  • Most people are frightened and run outdoors.
  • People find it difficult to stand on upper floors.
  • Heavy objects and furniture overturn or topple.
  • Big church bells may ring.
  • Old or poorly-built structures suffer considerable damage.
  • Some well-built structures are slightly damaged.
  • Some cracks may appear on dikes, fish ponds, road surfaces, or concrete hollow block walls.
  • Limited liquefaction, lateral spreading, and landslides are observed. (Liquefaction is a process by which loose saturated sand loses strength during an earthquake and behaves like liquid).
  • Trees are shaken strongly.
8Very Destructive
  • People are filled with panic.
  • People find it difficult to stand, even outdoors.
  • Many well-built buildings are considerably damaged.
  • Concrete dikes and foundations of bridges are destroyed by ground settling or toppling.
  • Railway tracks are bent or broken.
  • Tombstones may be displaced, twisted, or overturned.
  • Utility posts, towers, and monuments may tilt or topple.
  • Water and sewer pipes may be bent, twisted, or broken.
  • Liquefaction and lateral spreading cause man-made structures to sink, tilt or topple.
  • Numerous landslides and rockfalls occur in mountainous and hilly areas.
  • Boulders are thrown out from their positions, particularly near the epicenter.
  • Fissures and faults rapture may be observed.
  • Trees are violently shaken.
  • Water splash or stop over dikes or banks of rivers.
  • People are forcibly thrown to the ground.
  • Many cry and shake with fear.
  • Most buildings are totally damaged.
  • Bridges and elevated concrete structures are toppled or destroyed.
  • Numerous utility posts, towers, and monuments are tilted, toppled, or broken.
  • Water sewer pipes are bent, twisted, or broken.
  • Landslides and liquefaction with lateral spreadings and sand boils are widespread.
  • The ground is distorted into undulations.
  • Trees are shaken very violently, with some toppled or broken.
  • Boulders are commonly thrown out.
  • River water splashes violently on slops over dikes and banks.
10Completely Devastating
  • Practically all man-made structures are destroyed.
  • Massive landslides and liquefaction, large-scale subsidence and uplifting of land forms, as well as many ground fissures, are observed.
  • Changes in river courses and destructive seiches in large lakes occur.
  • Many trees are toppled, broken, and uprooted.


Phivolcs said that the public could report their felt intensities by texting 0947-404-7797 with the following details:

Name / Date of earthquake
Place where you felt the earthquake
Intensity of the earthquake you felt 

The agency said that their personal information will remain private.

The public can also call them at (02) 8426-1468 local 308/307

They can likewise send a direct message through the official Facebook page of Phivolcs which has the username @PHIVOLCS.

A Filipino version of the PEIS guide was also uploaded to their page.

The information received from the public will be included in Phivolcs’ earthquake bulletin under the “reported intensities” section.

The agency on its Facebook page also advised the public to observe the “duck, cover, and hold” practice during quakes for safety.

RELATED: ‘Duck, cover, hold’ reminder issued anew after magnitude 5.8 tremor felt in Metro Manila, nearby provinces