A powerful 7.6-magnitude earthquake struck the southern Philippines on Saturday. Local officials have warned, according to the US Geological Survey A “catastrophic tsunami” and urged residents of coastal areas to evacuate.
The quake struck at a depth of 32 kilometers (20 miles) at 10:37 p.m. local time (1437 GMT), 21 kilometers northeast of the municipality of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur province, on the island of Mindanao. USGS said.
“A destructive tsunami with life-threatening wave heights is expected,” the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, X, said earlier on Twitter.
said Waves of more than one meter above normal are expected It hit the coast and residents of Surigao del Sur and Davao Oriental provinces were advised to “evacuate immediately” to higher ground or further inland.
Boat owners were asked to secure their boats and leave the shore.
According to the USGS, powerful aftershocks of magnitude 6.4 continued to shake the region early Sunday morning after the first quake.
There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage, but Hinatuan police sergeant Joseph Lambo said the quake was “very strong”.
“Equipment fell from the shelves in the police office and two televisions were broken. Motorcycles parked outside also fell down,” Lambo told AFP. “Right now we don’t have any reports of damage or casualties, but people are evacuating because of the tsunami warning.”
Lambo said all 45,000 residents in the township have been ordered to leave their homes and many are moving to higher ground on foot or in vehicles.
Dil Constantino, 25, was on Siargao Island, northeast of Mindanao, when the quake hit.
“It was the longest and strongest earthquake I’ve ever experienced, it lasted four minutes,” Constantino told AFP. “Here we’re used to earthquakes, but this one was different because the doors really shook and that’s why we all panicked.”
Davao City disaster officer Anna Quinones said they are monitoring the coast in case of a tsunami. “It was still high tide and we didn’t notice anything unusual,” he said.
Bethanie Valledor, 24, was sleeping at a resort in Bislig town, 20 kilometers southwest of Hinatuan, when the quake woke her up.
“I felt that the room we were staying in was going to be destroyed,” Valledor told AFP.
“Our house is very close to the sea. The owner of the premises asked us to vacate immediately. I literally screamed. “I panicked.”
A 6.7-magnitude earthquake struck Mindanao, killing at least nine people, shaking buildings and causing part of the roof of a shopping center to collapse.
Earthquakes occur daily in the Philippines, which lies along the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of intense seismic and volcanic activity that stretches from Japan to Southeast Asia and the Pacific Basin.
Most are too weak to be felt by humans, but strong and destructive earthquakes occur randomly, with no technology to predict when and where they will occur.
(With information from AFP)
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