Tsunami warning lifted after Magnitude 7.4 quake strikes off Surigao del Sur

Rosette Adel - Philstar.com
Tsunami warning lifted after Magnitude 7.4 quake strikes off Surigao del Sur
Residents and medical personnel evacuate patients from inside a hospital after a 7.6 earthequake struck Butuan City, in southern island of Mindanao late December 2, 2023. A powerful magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck the southern Philippines on December 2, the US Geological Survey said, as local authorities warned of a "destructive tsunami" and urged people in coastal areas to flee.

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology on Saturday evening canceled the tsunami warning it issued for all coastal communities in the provinces of Surigao del Sur and Davao Oriental following the major quake that jolted several Mindanao areas.

It also recommended immediate evacuation in these areas.

A magnitude 7.4 earthquake, initially recorded at magnitude 6.9, rocked Surigao del Norte on Saturday night that prompted Phivolcs to issue a tsunami warning. It has a depth of 25 kilometers.

The quake’s epicenter was recorded east of Hinatuan at 10:37 p.m. of Saturday with major aftershocks that followed.

Phivolcs recorded the following intensities in Mindanao areas:

  • Intensity VII (Destructive) – Tandag City
  • Intensity VI (Very Strong) – Bislig City
  • Intensity V (Strong) – Cagayan de Oro City, Nabunturan, Davao de Oro and Davao City.

According to Phivolcs, sea level monitoring stations confirmed the occurrence of tsunami with preliminary wave heights of 0.64 meter in Mawes Island, Hinatuan, 0.18 meter in Lawigan, Bislig City, 0.05 meter in Port of Dapa, Surigao del Norte and 0.08 meter in Mati, Davao Oriental.

The last it recorded occurred at 2:52 a.m. at Hinatuan-Bislig Bay Station on Mawes Island.

Phivolcs said that meant that the tsunami threat associated with the Surigao del Sur tremor “has now largely passed the Philippines.

“Consequently, DOST-PHIVOLCS has now cancelled all Tsunami Warnings issued for this earthquake event,” it said.

The state seismologists called on the local government of threatened coastal areas to assess the tsunami’s impact and inform the coastal population at risk.

Despite the cancelation of the tsunami warning, it advised the people in these areas to follow instructions from local officials as they safely resume their normal activities.

Boats, on the other hand, are advised to follow the directives of Coast Guard or appropriate port authorities as they safely return to the coast.

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