The text message from Mom came around 11:30pm: We just had a strong earthquake here in Makati. I checked the USGS Latest Earthquakes Map and list and found that preliminary data for the quake was already available in an event report: Magnitude 5.8 – LUZON, PHILIPPINES, 2007 November 27 04:27:00 UTC. The reported magnitude jumped to 6.0 once before settling back to 5.8, but the epicenter stayed pretty set in Pangasinan, about 50 km west of Dagupan. The PHIVOLCS earthquake report has the epicenter further west, off the coast, with the Manila Trench as a possible source.
Internet people in the Philippines were still online on various messaging systems, so obviously the quake hadn’t knocked out power. I sent a few friends the info, then leaned back and marveled at the wonders of this age; that I could get earthquake data from monitoring stations around the world scarce minutes after the event, from federal government scientific services freely and instantly available to me on the web and paid for by my own taxes. Thanks, USGS!