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Philippines issues tsunami warning, orders evacuations following Taiwan earthquake

philippines issues tsunami warning orders evacuations following taiwan earthquake

MANILA — In response to a 7.4-magnitude earthquake in neighboring Taiwan, the Philippines has warned of “high tsunami waves” and has called for the evacuation of coastal areas in northern Luzon.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) updated its advisory, urging residents in coastal areas of Batanes, Cagayan, Ilocos Norte, and Isabela to immediately evacuate to higher ground or move farther inland. 

Phivolcs emphasized that these areas are expected to face high tsunami waves, according to tsunami wave models.

The first tsunami waves were expected to arrive between 8:33 and 10:33 a.m., although they “may not be the largest, and these waves may continue for hours,” stated Phivolcs.

Preemptive evacuations are already underway in Pagudpud and Currimao towns in Ilocos Norte, as reported by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). 

The Cagayan Valley Disaster Council has also instructed all local disaster offices to evacuate residents from coastal areas.

Teresito Bacolcol, director of Phivolcs, provided an update on the situation, stating that as of 9:08 a.m., the projected height of the tsunami waves had been reduced to less than 30 centimeters from an initial estimate of 3 meters.

In light of the warning, Phivolcs advised boat owners in the affected provinces’ harbors, estuaries, or shallow coastal waters to secure their vessels and move away from the waterfront. 

Boats already at sea during this period should remain offshore in deep waters until further notice.

The earthquake near Taiwan has prompted fast action from Philippine authorities to ensure the safety of coastal communities. 

Continued vigilance and adherence to evacuation orders are crucial to mitigating potential risks associated with tsunamis and other natural disasters.

As the situation develops, authorities will continue to monitor the situation closely and provide updates to ensure the safety and well-being of residents in affected areas.

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