A strong 7.6-magnitude earthquake shook the southern Philippines on Saturday. According to the US Geological Survey, while local authorities warned against this “A devastating tsunami” and urged coastal residents to flee.
The earthquake occurred at a depth of 32 kilometers (20 miles) at 10:37 pm local time (1437 GMT), about 21 kilometers northeast of Hinatuan municipality, in Surigao del Sur province, on the island of Mindanao. He said.
“A devastating tsunami with life-threatening wave heights is expected,” the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said on X, formerly known as Twitter.
He said Waves more than a meter higher than normal tide are expected It hit the coast and residents of Surigao del Sur and Davao Oriental provinces were advised to “immediately evacuate” to higher ground or inland.
Boat owners were asked to secure their boats and stay away from the beach.
Strong aftershocks measuring up to 6.4 magnitude continued to rock the area early Sunday after the first quake, according to the US Geological Survey.
There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage, but Hinatuan Police Sergeant Joseph Lambo said the quake was “very strong.”
“The devices fell from the shelves in the police office and two televisions were smashed. Motorcycles parked outside also fell,” Lambo told AFP. He added: “So far we have no reports of damage or casualties, but people are being evacuated due to a warning from… “Tsunami”.
Lambo said that all of the town’s 45,000 residents had been ordered to leave their homes, and that many of them were heading on foot or in cars to higher ground.
Del Constantino, 25, was on Siargao Island, northeastern Mindanao, when the quake struck.
“It was the longest and strongest earthquake I have ever experienced, and it probably lasted about four minutes,” Constantinou told AFP. “Here we are used to earthquakes, but these earthquakes were different because the doors were really shaking and that is why we all panicked.”
Davao City Disaster Management Officer Ana Quiñones said they are monitoring the coast for a tsunami. “The tide is still high and we have not noticed anything unusual,” he said.
Bethany Validor, 24, was sleeping at a resort in the city of Bislig, about 20 kilometers southwest of Hinatuan, when the quake woke her.
“I felt like the room we stayed in would be destroyed,” Validor told AFP.
“Our house is very close to the sea. The owner of the complex asked us to evacuate immediately. Honestly, I was screaming. I panicked.”
The quake comes nearly two weeks after a 6.7-magnitude quake rocked Mindanao, killing at least nine people, shaking buildings and collapsing part of the roof of a shopping mall.
Earthquakes occur daily in the Philippines, which lies along the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of intense seismic and volcanic activity extending from Japan across Southeast Asia and the Pacific Basin.
Most are too weak to be perceived by humans, but powerful and destructive earthquakes occur randomly, with no technology to predict when and where they will strike.
(Information from Agence France-Presse)