Magnitude 7.6 quake hits Philippines; tsunami alerts raised

August 31 2012 Philippine earthquake

A magnitude 7.6 quake hit islands in eastern Visayas and northeastern Mindanao shortly before 9PM of August 31 (Philippine time). The epicenter of the earthquake is at 96 kilometers east of Sulangan village in Guiuan, Eastern Samar, according to the United States Geological Service. The said agency also provides the following details:

Coordinates: 10.83 N and 126.76E with

Depth: 10km

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) has issued Tsunami Alert Level 3 in the following provinces: Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Surigao Del Norte and Surigao Del Sur. All these provinces are facing the Pacific Ocean in the east. People living near coastal areas in the said provinces are urged to evacuate immediately.

tsunami alerts philippines august 31 2012
Tsunami warnings were raised in several Philippine provinces because of a magnitude 7.6 earthquake Friday night (Credits: Office of Civil Defense)

President Benigno Aquino III has ordered defense secretary Voltaire Gazmin, as concurrent head of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council “to monitor the tsunami in coordination with Phivolcs” and to “ensure that the affected PDRRMCs inform the local government officials and to further ensure that the evacuation in the affected areas be peaceful and orderly.”

NOTE: The website of PHIVOLCS is currently down. This was confirmed to me by Secretary Manolo Quezon via Twitter. When asked if there’s if there’s a possibility that the PHIVOLCS website can be fixed anytime soon, he said: “We will certainly look into this but let’s all concentrate on prompt advisories at this time.”

Netizens are using the hashtag #phtrenchquake for updates and advisories about this earthquake.

UPDATE, 11:30PM – Hawaii, United States-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) has lifted its tsunami warning for the Philippines. However, the PTWC stressed in its report that “ONLY NATIONAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO MAKE DECISIONS REGARDING THE OFFICIAL STATE OF ALERT IN THEIR AREA AND ANY ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN IN RESPONSE.” NDRRMC Executive Director Benito Ramos stressed that PHIVOLCS is yet to lift its tsunami warning for the abovementioned areas.

According to the PTWC,  when no major waves are observed two hours after those were expected to arrive, local authorities can assume that the danger has passed. It also warned that boats and coastal structures will remain in danger for the next several hours because of rapid currents.

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About Mark Madrona 1191 Articles
Mark Madrona is a prize-winning blogger, online journalist, and educator from the Philippines. Previously a book editor, he is now teaching communication subjects for two public universities in Manila. His blog The Filipino Scribe won 3rd place in a blog competition organized by the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and the Pacific (ANSA-EAP). In 2015, it was one of the finalists in the 2015 Lasallian Scholarum Awards for Best Online Feature Article in Youth and Education. He also won the Best Blog Award during the 2011 Population and Development Media Awards, the youngest recipient of that recognition. Know more about him here: http://www.filipinoscribe.com/about/.

15 Comments on Magnitude 7.6 quake hits Philippines; tsunami alerts raised

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