PH raises tsunami alert after Solomon Islands quake

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 06 2013 10:20 AM | Updated as of Feb 06 2013 08:32 PM

MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) – The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Wednesday morning raised Tsunami Alert Level 1 following the magnitude 8 earthquake off Solomon Islands.

"No evacuation yet, people should just be alert," Renato Solidum, head of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, told Reuters.

Phivolcs said it is not yet ordering an evacuation, but advised residents in the following coastal areas facing the Pacific Ocean to monitor the situation:

  • 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

"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," the Phivolcs said in its tsunami advisory.

"The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii will monitor sea level gauges nearest the region and report if any tsunami wave activity is observed.

"PHIVOLCS is monitoring the sea level changes in the epicentral area and will relay significant observations to concerned authorities."

A major magnitude 8.0 earthquake struck off the Solomon Islands in the Pacific Ocean and a tsunami warning was issued for South Pacific islands, US officials said.

The US Geological Survey said the quake struck at 0112 GMT near the Santa Cruz Islands, which are part of the Solomon Islands nation, with a depth of 3.6 miles (5.8 kilometers). The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center warned that the large quake could trigger a "destructive tsunami" near the epicenter. – with Agence France-Presse and Reuters