Waves up to three meters high could reach the Philippines
MADRID, 2 (EUROPA PRESS) - An earthquake of preliminary magnitude 7.6 that occurred this Saturday in the eastern Philippines has generated a tsunami warning for much of the Pacific region. The area most at risk is the eastern part of the Philippine island of Mindanao.
The alert, issued by the US Tsunami Warning Center, currently affects the Philippines, the Palau islands and Japan. The advisory for Malaysia and Indonesia has now been withdrawn.
Specifically, it warns of waves up to three meters high in the coastal areas of the Philippines and waves up to one meter high in Palau.
The earthquake was recorded around 3:37 p.m. this Saturday, Spanish time, about five kilometers east of the beach line of the town of Campa, in the municipality of Surigao del Sur, with a hypocenter located 32 kilometers from depth, according to estimates by the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
The Philippine Institute of Seismology (PHIVOLCS) has confirmed the tsunami warning and urged residents in the coastal areas of Surigao del Sur and Davao Oriental to immediately evacuate to higher ground or move inland.
"According to the local tsunami scenario database, wave heights of more than one meter above normal tides are expected and may be higher in closed bays and straits. A destructive tsunami is expected, with waves of height that poses a danger to life," the institute has warned, in a statement collected by the Philippine network ABS-CBN.
The first wave will arrive between 10:37 p.m. and 11:59 p.m. on Saturday (between 3:37 p.m. and 4:59 p.m. on Saturday in mainland Spain) and will then persist for hours, according to the official projection. "Boat owners in ports, estuaries or open coasts of the aforementioned provinces should take their boats to safety and move away from the coast. Boats at sea should remain at sea until further notice," the Institute added.
Cities such as Bislig, Surigao del Sur, Cabadbarán and Agusán del Norte have confirmed that they have felt the earthquake, reports the newspaper 'The Manila Times'. Images of people terrified by the earthquake in eastern Mindanao have also proliferated.
In Japan, the Japan Meteorological Agency has issued a tsunami warning for the Pacific coasts, specifically for the prefectures of Chiba, Shizuoka and Kagoshima. A tsunami one meter high could reach Miyako Island around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday, according to the agency.
"Anyone in the water should get out immediately and move away from the coast. The currents are going to be strong, so avoid entering the sea or approaching the coast until the alert is lifted," he specified.
The National Disaster Prevention and Response Service of Chile has also analyzed the earthquake and has concluded that "the characteristics of the earthquake do not meet the necessary conditions to generate a tsunami on the coasts of Chile."