Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) Director Renato Solidum Jr. revealed yesterday that part of Bohol, including Tagbilaran City, moved 55 centimeters closer to Cebu Island.
The phenomenon was caused by the October 15 earthquake that hit Bohol and Cebu.
Though Bohol island moved closer to Cebu, Solidum told the local government officials during a forum on disasters, climate change and marine biodiversity that it does not pose a risk in both islands.
Still, he urged local leaders and residents to be better prepared.
Island moving closer to another island is something that can naturally occur after an earthquake. Thought not often, high intensity earthquakes can actually cause this phenomenon.
In Japan, when the 8.9 magnitude devastating earthquake and tsunami hit the country in 2011, the island of Japan also moved 8 feet (2.4 meters) closer to the United States.
The distance of the movement was something significant though because it shifted the earth on its axis by 6.5 inches, which shortened the day by 1.6 microseconds, and sank Japan downward by about two feet.
Why did the Japan quake shorten the day?
The earth’s mass shifted towards the center, spurring the planet to spin a bit faster.
The 2010 massive 8.8 magnitude earthquake in Chile also shortened the day, but by an even smaller fraction of a second; while the 2004 Sumatra quake knocked a whopping 6.8 micro-seconds off the day.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology did not mention though if the Bohol earthquake has also shortened the day by a few microseconds.