Evacuations began in the Philippines after an earthquake of at least 7.5 magnitude occurred in the Mindanao region in the south of the country on Saturday, prompting warnings of a tsunami in the Philippines and Japan.
The earthquake struck at a depth of 32 kilometers at about 22:37 local time (14:37 GMT) in an area located about 21 kilometers northeast of the municipality of Hinatuan in the province of Surigao del Sur, located on the island of Mindanao, according to Center.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said, via the “X” website, “A devastating tsunami is expected, with waves reaching levels that pose a threat to the lives” of residents.
He stated that waves exceeding the normal height by more than a meter are expected to hit the coast, and he advised residents in the provinces of Surigao del Sur and Davao Oriental to “evacuate” their areas “immediately” and head to highlands or inland areas.
The US Tsunami Warning System had warned of waves up to three meters above the usual high wave level, but said that there was no longer a threat of a tsunami. However, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology confirmed that the risk of a tsunami still exists.
The institute stated, in a statement to reporters, “The warning has not yet been cancelled.”
Residents are being evacuated from areas struck by the earthquake and aftershocks. However, there were no initial reports of serious damage caused by the waves or deaths or injuries, despite the continuing aftershocks.
The Philippines witnesses earthquakes on a daily basis, especially since the archipelago is located on the “Ring of Fire,” an area of intense seismic and volcanic activity that extends from Japan to the Pacific Basin, passing through Southeast Asia.
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