Skyscraper Spills Rooftop Pool as Earthquake Rocks Manila

A rooftop pool tipped over as the building responded to a seismic tremor.
Jessica Miley

The Philippines was hit by a 6.3 earthquake yesterday causing some major damage to the city and taking the lives of at least 16 people. Most of the damage was experienced in the town of Porac, 110 km north of the country’s capital Manila. Videos from the city show rescue workers working around the clock to look for people who may be trapped underneath trapped buildings.


But other videos have emerged that show a weird result of the natural disaster - a skyscraper's pool being emptied as the building sways. The building located in Manila Binondo district was shaken as the tremors ht the city, causing the rooftop pool to spill over its side.

Called the Anchor Skysuites, the mixed-use building is the tallest building in any Chinatown around the world outside of China. Video posted on YouTube shows the cascade of water making it about halfway down the building before it gets turned into a windswept mist.

Ring of Fire

The Philippines experiences frequent earthquakes due to its location on the Pacific Ring of Fire. About 90 percent of the world's earthquakes strike in the region. More than 220 people were killed in the central Philippines in October 2013 following a magnitude 7.1 tremor. One of the countries worst disasters occurred back in July 1990, when more than 2,400 people were killed on the northern island of Luzon in a magnitude 7.8 earthquake.

Despite massive improvements, earthquakes are still really difficult to predict. Even with accurate prediction warning people and adequate evacuation are difficult, particular in high population places like manilla rd Los Angeles. To be able to predict these quakes in a reasonable time to make a difference, we need to understand a lot more about how they work.

Hard to predict

Many research centers around the world dedicate themselves to understanding this potentially devastating natural event. A recent video from Minuteearth explains why they are so hard to see coming and details one of the techniques used to learn more about them.

"We have tried looking backward at earthquakes that already happened and identifying events that occurred in the days before they hit like multiple mini-quakes, big releases in radon gas, changes in magnetism and even weird animal behavior to see if any of these were predictors of an impending earthquake," says the video narrator.

More than we even know

California is another place susceptible to earth rumbles. Earthquake experts believe that there is a very high likelihood a severe earthquake will hit California within the next three decades. The state is already experiencing earthquakes frequently, but many of these go unnoticed.

Scientists at the California Institute of Technology reported last week that after analyzing a decade of seismic data from 2008 to 2017, they identified 1.81 million earthquakes that hit California that no one had noticed. "It's not that we didn't know these small earthquakes were occurring.

The problem is that they can be very difficult to spot amid all of the noise,” said Zachary Ross, a postdoctoral scholar in geophysics, set to join the faculty of Caltech in June, and who was the lead author of the study. The noise in the seismological record that these researchers were hoping to filter out could be something as simple as nearby construction work or a passing truck on an adjacent road.

The recent research will help scientists better understand earthquake behavior all over the world and create strategies to save lives, buildings, and swimming pools.