Aquino: Stay away from beaches in 19 provinces

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 11 2011 03:58 PM | Updated as of Mar 12 2011 08:58 AM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE 3) - President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III on Friday ordered the mandatory evacuation of residents in coastal areas in 19 provinces expected to be affected by tsunami waves.

Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the first tidal wave is expected to hit Batanes Group of Islands at 5:46 p.m. and will affect Cagayan, Ilocos Norte and Isabela.

Residents living in coastal areas fronting the Pacific Ocean of the following provinces were also ordered to seek higher ground.

  • Cagayan 

  • northernmost areas of 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

The President asked the public to remain calm and coordinate with government agencies for the evacuation. "Huminahon po sana ang ating mga kababayan," he said.  

Bartolome Bautista, deputy director of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology official, said the latest wave models showed that tidal waves to hit the country would be about a meter high or less.

"It is not damaging, not dangerous as long as you follow precautionary measures. Do not go near the beaches. One-meter waves can still be dangerous if you don't know how to swim," he said.

He also noted that the first wave is not necessarily the largest. "A tsunami is a series of waves. The 1st wave not always largest wave . Succeeding waves may be bigger and stronger," he said.

He added that he expects the waves to weaken after 7 p.m.

Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum earlier said tsunami waves measuring 1-meter high could hit the eastern coast of the country between 5 pm and 7 pm.

Tsunami alert level 2 was raised in the 19 provinces fronting the Pacific Ocean, he said.

"All residents living near the shoreline are ordered to evacuate and seek higher ground. You have to leave the shoreline because the tsunami could reach up to 1 meter, which is about shoulder high," he told radio dzMM.

Secretary Jesse Robredo of the Department of the Interior and Local Government said people living 10-40 meters from the shoreline of the 19 provinces should evacuate. He said the first wave is expected to hit Batanes Group of Islands at around 5:30 p.m. while tsunami waves could hit Ilocos and Cagayan area later.

Phivolcs said residents in the 19 provinces should be on alert for unusual waves.

"Based on tsunami wave models and early tide gauge records of the tsunami in the Pacific, coastal areas in Philippine provinces fronting the tsunami waves will arrive between 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM March 11, 2011 Philippine time and may not always be the largest," the warning said.

"These waves may continue for hours," it added.

Phivolcs said people are advised to stay away from the shoreline during this period. People should not go to the coast to watch the tsunami.

Owners of boats in harbors, estuaries or shallow coastal water of the above-mentioned provinces should secure their boats and move away from the waterfront. Boats already at sea during this period should stay offshore in deep waters until further advised.

 

Albay Gov. Joey Salceda said he has suspended classes on all levels in the province and instructed the public not to panic.

Two flights going to Narita, Japan have been put on hold after a massive 8.9 magnitude quake hit Japan Friday afternoon. The flights are Japan Airlines JAL 742 and Philippine Airlines PAL PR432.

 

 Aquino: Stay away from beaches in 19 provinces 1