Netizens recall tragic 1990 Luzon 'killer' earthquake that also happened in July

MANILA, Philippines – Netizens couldn't help but recall the tragic 1990 'killer' earthquake following the 7.0-magnitude earthquake today, Wednesday, July 27.

Hyatt Terraces Baguio Hotel collapsed due to the 1990 Luzon earthquake
Hyatt Terraces Baguio Hotel collapsed due to the 1990 Luzon earthquake | Photo courtesy: Public Domain/ Phivocs

Today, parts of Luzon were jolted by a massive earthquake at 8:43 in the morning. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) first noted that the quake had a magnitude of 7.3 but later downgraded it to 7.0. The epicenter was tracked northeast of Tayum, Abra.


The earthquake resulted in damage to several properties, houses, buildings and structures. Many iconic and historical spots such as the Villa Crisologo in Vigan, Santa Catalina de Alejandria Parish Church in Tayum, Abra, Bantay Bell Tower in Ilocos Sur, and many others, were heavily damaged as some parts fell and crumbled.

As fear and worry poured in, many netizens started looking back on the fateful day of July 16, 1990, which was rocked by a big earthquake with a magnitude of 7.7. The disaster was dubbed the '1990 killer earthquake' because it led to thousands of fatalities and an estimated $ 369 million worth of damages.

The quake occurred at 4:26 p.m. with the epicenter tracked north of Manila in the Nueva Ecija province. According to reports, the shaking lasted for 45 seconds.

Baguio City was the most devastated area, with the most collapsed buildings, damages, and victims. Aside from collapsed buildings, landslides, and stampedes were also causes of death. Residents refused to stay and leave indoors weeks after the disaster.

More than 30 years after that tragic disaster, netizens reminisced about the 1990 Luzon earthquake.

Asiaweek staff photographer Edwin Tuyay shared photos of the disaster on Facebook, “It was also the month of July when a magnitude of 7.7 struck Luzon island on July 16, 1990, at 4:36 pm. The earthquake caused damage within an area of about 20,000 square kilometres, stretching from the mountains of the Cordillera Administrative Region and through the Central Luzon region.”

It was also the month of July when a magnitude of 7.7 struck Luzon island on July 16, 1990, at 4:36 pm. The earthquake...

Posted by Edwin C. Tuyay on Tuesday, July 26, 2022

A netizen named Maam Lubs who personally experienced the 1990 earthquake wrote, “32 years ago, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake hit Luzon! It was called the "1990 Luzon Earthquake'' which took more than 1,200 lives in Baguio City, Manila, and Nueva Ecija. Numerous buildings have collapsed, burying a lot of bodies. Today, a magnitude 7.3 earthquake hit Luzon. As my local community gathered info, some houses in our locality have already fallen, and landslides have blocked the roads. I was 11 years old during the 1990 Earthquake. We experienced living on the road at BAGUIO CITY. The trauma was still on the minds of the Baguio people, especially those who experienced the 1990 Disaster.

Another netizen shared, “30 years after. 30 YEARS ago. JULY 16,1990, the LUZON killer EARTHQUAKE. Naaalala n'yo ba?Nasa 1,200 katao ang namatay sa magnitude 7.8 na lindol na yumanig sa Luzon 30 taon na ang nakalilipas. At ngayong araw july 27 2022 niyanig naman tayo ng 7.3 earthquake sa parehong buwan na sumentro naman sa Lagangilang Abra. Keep safe everyone,at manalangin.”

Meanwhile, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. already ordered relief and rescue operations to Abra and other affected areas. He is set to make a visit once given the “all-clear” signal.

— Sally, The Summit Express

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