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Last Updated on August 3, 2022 by Lamudi
PhiVolcs’ FaultFinder reveals the distance between a location and the nearest active fault. The app may help Filipinos in keeping their families safe from the damaging effects of earthquakes.
Earthquake preparedness has become a major topic among the people of the Philippines due to the ground shaking that struck the country over the previous several days.
To help Filipinos learn more about the fault lines and prepare better for earthquakes, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology created FaultFinder, an app that shows the locations of active fault lines in Metro Manila and other areas in the country. Users may access the app through a browser or download it into Android devices through the Google Play Store.
What is the PhiVolcs FaultFinder?
The PhiVolcs FaultFinder, launched in 2016, is an app that can search for nearby active faults, depending on the user’s location. It can determine the location of the nearest active fault, as well as the shortest distance between it and the user.
The app may also be used to determine the distance between the nearest active fault and a specific location that the user puts in. For example, if you key in New Manila,the app will show you the nearest active fault line in Quezon City in kilometers. The fault name would even be identified. This information is very crucial especially when you’re scouting for your future home. It will help you determine if the location you’re eyeing is at a safe distance from the fault line.
The app is the product of a collaboration between PhiVolcs, the Department of Science and Technology, the Geological Survey of Japan, and the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology of Japan.
But first, what is considered a safe distance from a fault line?
PhiVolcs recommends avoiding construction within five meters on each side of a fault trace. This is equivalent to a total width of 10 meters. This is considered the ideal “10-meter wide no-build zone” in the vicinity of a fault. This will ensure that real estate properties are located a safe distance away from a fault line.
FaultFinder utilizes three base maps, namely Philippines Geoportal from NAMRIA, Google Maps, and Openstreet.
How to Use the PhilVolcs FaultFinder
Upon launching FaultFinder, users are presented with two options: Valley Fault System, for faults in the Greater Metro Manila Area, and Other Fault Systems, for faults in other areas in the Philippines.
Users will need to share the computer’s location or activate the Android device’s GPS before proceeding, so the app will know the location of the user.
Under Valley Fault System, select VFS Fault Nearest You, and under Other Fault Systems, select Active Fault Nearest You. Change maps using the Base Maps option, click on Legend to see the meaning of the marks, and adjust zoom level by using the + and – buttons.
To look at the distance between a specific barangay to the nearest active fault, users may choose the Active Fault Based on Location option, under which they can cycle through barangays across the Greater Metro Manila Area.
Lastly, users may check the distance between a specific area and the nearest active fault by double-clicking on a spot on the map. With these options, you can easily seefault lines in Metro Manila.
Importance of Living Away from Fault Lines
PhiVolcs created the FaultFinder app to help with land use planning, risk assessment, disaster risk reduction plans, and awareness. Earthquakes are stronger in areas nearer fault lines, so disaster response teams have plans
For the regular user, the app will help determine which locations are not desirable, depending on the user’s preferred distance to an active fault.
The Valley Fault System referred to in the app is also known as the Marikina Valley Fault System. Its west segment, known as the West Valley Fault, runs through Metro Manila across the cities of Marikina, Quezon City, Pasig, Makati, Taguig, and Muntinlupa. Meanwhile, its east segment, known as the East Valley Fault, extends from Rodriguez to San Mateo in the province of Rizal.
Suggested read: Where Are the Major Fault Lines in the Philippines?
The West Valley Fault Line affected areas list covers a total of 99 private villages and subdivisions within 80 barangays, including over 6,000 buildings. The fault, however, carries the threat of a possible large-scale earthquake, with an estimated magnitude between 6 to 7 and as high as 7.6. Because of this perceived threat, potential property buyers who are knowledgeable of the matter are avoiding areas near the West Valley Fault, for the safety of their family and their investment.
Use the Phivolcs fault finder app as you consider your next home sweet home.
Sources: Philvolcs, Youtube, Faultfinder, Wikipedia
Check out our previous journal for more real estate features.
What does it mean to live near a fault line? ›
It means you're in an area at risk of the ground breaking in an earthquake. Not all such areas will actually see the ground break apart in the next big quake. That depends on where the earthquake is, and which faults move.How do I find the nearest fault line? ›
To determine the distance of your current location to the nearest fault, turn on your gadget's tracking device. Click the “VFS Fault Nearest You” or “Active Fault Nearest You”. You may click on “Active Fault Based on Location” tab if you want to know the distance of a Barangay to the nearest active fault.Are we on a fault line? ›
The San Andreas fault system is the major geologic boundary between the North American and Pacific tectonic plates and passes through much of the state.What happens if you are near the fault line? ›
The dangers people face include not only tremors but also other threats: Widespread smoke and ash can pollute the air and block out the sun for miles in every direction. Mudflows and landslides are potential threats as well.How far should your house be from a fault line? ›
PhiVolcs recommends avoiding construction within five meters on each side of a fault trace. This is equivalent to a total width of 10 meters.How far away should you live from a fault line? ›
Many geologists recommend a 50-foot fault setback; however, shorter setbacks have been recommended by some consultants.What is the most active fault line in the US? ›
While the San Andreas fault gets much of the attention, it's the Hayward fault that quake experts consider the most dangerous fault in America.What cities are built on fault lines? ›
The cities of Desert Hot Springs, San Bernardino, Wrightwood, Palmdale, Gorman, Frazier Park, Daly City, Point Reyes Station and Bodega Bay rest on the San Andreas fault line. The Southern San Andreas slices through Los Angeles County along the north side of the San Gabriel Mountains.What cities will be affected by the Big One? ›
The 'Big One' is a hypothetical earthquake of magnitude ~8 or greater that is expected to happen along the SAF. Such a quake will produce devastation to human civilization within about 50-100 miles of the SAF quake zone, especially in urban areas like Palm Springs, Los Angeles and San Francisco.What state has the most fault lines? ›
The seismic activity in California is widely known, and high-hazard areas cover large sections of the state, including the San Francisco Bay area, Los Angeles, and San Diego. The San Andreas Fault has caused some of the most notable earthquakes in recent memory.
How deep is a fault line? ›
“Most earthquakes are generated along fault lines located deep within the Earth (commonly 5-7 miles below the surface) and a moderate earthquake that deep doesn't generate enough energy to break the fault all the way to surface, said Paula Figueiredo, in an NC State news release.Is Florida on a fault line? ›
Answer and Explanation: No, there are no faults in Florida, and the state is not prone to earthquakes. Florida lies on the North American Plate relatively close to the Caribbean Plate, but the boundary is well offshore, and there is no evidence of deeper, older faults from previous plate boundaries.What should you do when you are living along a fault line? ›
Stay outside. Go to an open area away from buildings. The most dangerous place is near exterior walls. If you are in a crowded public place, take cover where you won't be trampled.Is it safe to build a house on a fault line? ›
Phivolcs now recommends avoiding construction within 5 meters on each side of a fault trace, or a total width of 10 meters.What are the dangers of fault lines? ›
Strong ground motion may, in turn, cause ground failure—slumps, landslides, liquefaction, and lateral spread—depending on shaking intensity (usually stronger nearer the source) and local site conditions. If it occurs offshore, fault displacement can generate tsunamis capable of inundating nearby and distant shorelines.Why do people choose to live near fault lines? ›
Often people live in these zones because they decide that the advantages of the place outweigh the risks. Most volcanoes and earthquake zones are safe for long periods in between eruptions or earthquake events. Frequently tectonic events can be adjusted to and are considered by the residents as being predictable.What states does the fault line run through? ›
This 150 mile-long series of faults stretches under five states: Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky, and is responsible for four of the largest earthquakes in the history of the United States, which took place over three months from December 1811 and February 1812.What is the deadliest fault line? ›
|San Andreas Fault|
|Length||1,200 km (750 mi)|
|Displacement||20–35 mm (0.79–1.38 in)/yr|
|Plate||North American & Pacific|
- California. Every year, California experiences numerous earthquakes, and most of them are small and can hardly be felt. ...
- Nevada. The state of Nevada is among the states prone to earthquakes, and between 1974 and 2003, there have been 788 strong earthquakes in the state. ...
Below is a map showing the risk of damage by earthquakes for the continental United States. Highest earthquake hazards in the USA are found on the west coast, the western mountain range, the midwest south of the Great Lakes, the southern coast of Alaska, and the big island of Hawaii.
Where are most faults located? ›
Normal faults are often found along divergent plate boundaries, such as under the ocean where new crust is forming. Long, deep valleys can also be the result of normal faulting.What states will be affected by the San Andreas Fault line? ›
It slices California in two from Cape Mendocino to the Mexican border. San Diego, Los Angeles and Big Sur are on the Pacific Plate. San Francisco, Sacramento and the Sierra Nevada are on the North American Plate.What year will the Big One hit? ›
The chart tells us the average interval between large earthquakes is 138 years, plus or minus 30 years. Based on this average and standard deviation, the next large earthquake on the Hayward fault could be anywhere between 1977 and 2036, or even later, of course.How overdue is the Big One? ›
California is located in a hot-zone of fault lines that can rupture without warning. Parts of the San Andreas fault have not ruptured in over 200 years, meaning it's overdue for a high-magnitude earthquake commonly referred to as "The Big One."What would happen if the Big One hit California? ›
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the Big One is a hypothetical southern California 7.8M earthquake modeled to cause 1800 deaths and cause $213 billion in economic losses.Which is the only U.S. state never to have an earthquake? ›
According to the U.S. Geological Survey's Earthquake Information Center, every state in the U.S. has experienced an earthquake of one kind or another. It lists Florida and North Dakota as the two states with the fewest earthquakes.
Why do California and Alaska constantly see Earthquakes while Nebraska never does? The frequency of earthquakes all comes back to fault lines in America.How fast do fault lines move? ›
The faults are most commonly found around the edge of plates which are continental-size blocks of rocks that comprise the outermost part of the earth. These plates are constantly moving (albeit very slowly) at rates up to four inches per year (10 cm/yr) although most rates of travel are considerably less.Will Florida ever have an earthquake? ›
Earthquakes aren't usually on the list of things to worry about. But they can — and have — happened in the Sunshine State. In 2019, for instance, Florida recorded at least nine small earthquakes, mostly in the 2.0 magnitude range. In 2020, a 4.4 magnitude earthquake was recorded in Escambia County.Where is the closest fault line to Florida? ›
“The closest fault line to Florida runs through the Caribbean Sea, just north of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic and south of Cuba toward Guatemala.”
Why is Florida no-fault? ›
Florida is called a “No Fault” state because it has a law requiring a type of car accident insurance that pays regardless of who was at fault for the accident. This type of insurance coverage is called No-Fault insurance or Personal Injury Protection (PIP).How close to your property line can you build? ›
Typically, the setback of a property is 10 feet at the front, 10 feet at the back, and four feet on each side.What builds up at the fault line? ›
If tension builds up along a fault and then is suddenly released, the result is an earthquake. Fractures are simply cracks in the crust where there is no movement. Faults are classified according to the direction of relative movement along the fault.What are the three major fault lines? ›
There are three main types of fault which can cause earthquakes: normal, reverse (thrust) and strike-slip. Figure 1 shows the types of faults that can cause earthquakes.What will most likely happen every time a fault? ›
The friction across the surface of the fault holds the rocks together so they do not slip immediately when pushed sideways. Eventually enough stress builds up and the rocks slip suddenly, releasing energy in waves that travel through the rock to cause the shaking that we feel during an earthquake.What are the most common fault? ›
Line to ground fault (L-G) is most common fault and 65-70 percent of faults are of this type. It causes the conductor to make contact with earth or ground. 15 to 20 percent of faults are double line to ground and causes the two conductors to make contact with ground.What are the possible dangers of living near the faults? ›
Strong ground motion may, in turn, cause ground failure—slumps, landslides, liquefaction, and lateral spread—depending on shaking intensity (usually stronger nearer the source) and local site conditions. If it occurs offshore, fault displacement can generate tsunamis capable of inundating nearby and distant shorelines.What should you do when you are living in a fault line? ›
Stay outside. Go to an open area away from buildings. The most dangerous place is near exterior walls. If you are in a crowded public place, take cover where you won't be trampled.What is the most common fault line? ›
Normal Faults: This is the most common type of fault. It forms when rock above an inclined fracture plane moves downward, sliding along the rock on the other side of the fracture. Normal faults are often found along divergent plate boundaries, such as under the ocean where new crust is forming.What is the most popular fault line? ›
The San Andreas Fault is the most famous fault in the world. Its notoriety comes partly from the disastrous 1906 San Francisco earthquake, but rather more importantly because it passes through California, a highly-populated state that is frequently in the news.
Where are fault lines most common? ›
Most of the active fault lines in the world are located in the Ring of Fire that virtually encircles the Pacific Ocean. This region is responsible for about 81% of all the earthquakes on the planet.What are 3 major faults? ›
There are three main types of fault which can cause earthquakes: normal, reverse (thrust) and strike-slip.Why did my house just shake? ›
Temperature and humidity changes can affect the structure of a dwelling, causing a variety of noises and small shakes. These are normal, especially in freshly built houses. But if you're really worried about this, have your house inspected for cracks in the foundation and walls. Anything serious will show up there.What states have fault lines? ›
The Cascadia Subduction Zone
One of the most potentially dangerous fault lines lies north of California, stretching between Oregon and Washington.