Wednesday, August 26, 2015


By Anton Antonio
August 25, 2015

This is not to add another worrisome term to the wide array of terms related to earthquakes… the term is “liquefaction”.  This term, however, has to be popularized to create a higher degree of awareness amongst us. 

Liquefaction is a phenomenon in which the strength and stiffness of soil is reduced by earthquake shaking which could result in tremendous amounts of damage during an actual earthquake.  “Liquefaction is a term used in materials sciences to refer to any process which either generates a liquid from a solid or a gas, or generates a non-liquid phase which behaves in accordance with fluid dynamics.  Liquefaction occurs both as part of natural processes, and in man-made processes used in science and commerce.  For example, “(a) major commercial application of liquefaction is the liquefaction of air to allow separation of the constituents, such as oxygen, nitrogen, and the other noble gasses”, while another application is the conversion of solid coal into liquid form usable as a substitute for liquid fuels.” (Wikipedia)

More than the commercial application of liquefaction, we will be more concerned about liquefaction as a geological phenomenon.  “In geology, soil liquefaction refers to the process by which water-saturated, unconsolidated sediments are transformed into a substance that acts like a liquid, often in an earthquake.  By undermining the foundations and base courses of infrastructure, liquefaction can cause serious damage.”  (Wikipedia)

The following is additional researched information on liquefaction…

“MANILA, Philippines – With the anticipated magnitude 7.2 earthquake triggered by the West Valley Fault along areas in Metro Manila and nearby provinces, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) warned residents living in areas where the ground is prone to liquefaction.  During the earthquake preparedness forum in Malabon organized by the City of Malabon and Assistance and Cooperation for Community Resilience and Development/ACCORD last June, Kathleen Papiona of Phivolcs said liquefaction is among the other hazards caused by earthquake.  Other hazards are ground rupture, ground shaking, fire, landslide and tsunami.  “Liquefaction is a phenomenon, when loosely consolidated sediments soil deposits lost their strength and appeared to flow as fluids,” Papiona said.  Te phenomenon is triggered by strong ground shaking and is commonly observes near rivers, bays, and other bodies of water since it occurs in water-saturated soils.  Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum Jr. said coastal areas in the cities of Marikina, Pasig, Taguig, Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Muntinlupa, Pasay, Las Pinas and the municipality of Pateros are prone to liquefaction.  Aside from Metro Manila, Solidum said several areas in the provinces of Pampanga and Nueva Ecija are also susceptible to liquefaction according to the findings of a 2004 study conducted by Phivolcs and the Metro Manila Development Authority.” ---

Last July 30, 2015, the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) embarked on a project dubbed as “Metro Manila Shake”.  This is a very important project aimed at preparing the “Big City” for the “Big One”… a magnitude 7.0 PLUS earthquake which is largely being predicted to occur anytime sooner or later.  Another phenomenon we have to contend with is liquefaction.

Thoughts to promote positive action…

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REFERENCE:, (2015).  “Infographic: Liquefaction Potential Map Metro Manila”.  Retrieved on August 26, 2015 from

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