LEGAZPI CITY: The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Thursday raised tsunami alerts in 20 provinces after an 8.3 magnitude earthquake hit the coast off Chile on Thursday morning.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the epicenter of the temblor was 46 kilometers (29 miles) west of Illapel City in Chile. The quake generated a wave that is about 16 feet high and authorities have issued tsunami advisories in several countries including the Philippines.
The Phivolcs, in its sea-level change warning, said that “an earthquake of this size has the potential to generate a destructive tsunami that can strike coastlines in the region near the epicenter within minutes to hours.”
With this, the Phivolcs raised tsunami alerts in 20 provinces, namely: the Batanes Group of Islands, Cagayan, Ilocos Norte, Isabela, Quezon, Aurora, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Catanduanes, Sorsogon, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Davao del Sur and Davao Occidental.
Phivolcs director Renato Solidum said the five provinces in Bicol under a tsunami alert are Albay, Sorsogon, Catanduanes, Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte.
Following Solidum’s warning, the Albay Public Safety Emergency Management Office (Apsemo) led by Cedric Daep immediately issued a tsunami alert advisory to all cities and municipal disaster responders to be on guard and to inform the public regarding the possible tsunami impact tomorrow.
Daep warned the public, specifically residents living in the coastal towns in Albay facing the Pacific Ocean to be on guard of the possible big waves that might hit their area.
Similarly, Office of Civil Defense in Bicol Director Bernardo Alejandro issued a tsunami advisory to the governors of Albay, Catanduanes, Sorsogon, Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte to be ready for possible eventualities.
All disaster responders in Bicol from the region down to the barangay level were also advised to be ready to implement their disaster response mechanism.