Magnitude 7.5 Earthquake Strikes Southern Philippines, Triggering Tsunami Warning
Breaking: Major earthquake hits southern Philippines, triggering a tsunami alert. Stay informed on the latest developments and safety measures.
Mindanao in the southern Philippines was struck by a formidable earthquake late Saturday, registering at least 7.5 on the Richter scale. The Philippine Seismology Agency, PHIVOLCS, swiftly issued evacuation directives for select areas, citing the potential threat of tsunami waves measuring a meter or more.
PHIVOLCS communicated that the anticipated tsunami waves could make landfall in the Philippines by midnight local time (1600 GMT) and persist for an extended duration. The U.S. Tsunami Warning System underscored the seriousness of the situation, cautioning about the possibility of waves up to 3 meters above the tide level along certain Philippine coastlines.
"Boats currently at sea during this period are advised to remain offshore in deep waters until further notice," urged PHIVOLCS, emphasizing the urgency for residents along the coasts of Surigao Del Sur and Davao Oriental provinces to evacuate promptly or relocate further inland.
Japan's southwestern coasts were also on high alert, with the Japanese broadcaster NHK forecasting tsunami waves of approximately one meter to reach the region around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday (1630 GMT on Saturday).
While PHIVOLCS did not anticipate significant damage directly resulting from the earthquake, it issued a cautionary note about potential aftershocks. Reports from local authorities, including Raymark Gentallan, the police chief of the coastal town of Hinatuan near the earthquake's epicenter, indicated power outages but no reported casualties or damages as of yet.
The Philippines, being part of the seismically active "Ring of Fire," often witnesses such geological events. According to the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC), the earthquake was recorded at a magnitude of 7.5, occurring at a depth of 63 km (39 miles). Meanwhile, the U.S. Geological Survey reported a magnitude of 7.6 at a depth of 32 km (20 miles), specifying the quake's occurrence at 10:37 p.m., Philippines time (1437 GMT). The situation remains under close monitoring as authorities coordinate response efforts and assess potential consequences.