MANILA - The Philippine Space Agency on Tuesday said debris from a Chinese rocket may fall near Cagayan and Ilocos Norte in northern Luzon.
According to PhilSA, a Long March 7A (CZ-7A) rocket was launched from China's Wenchang Space Launch Center, Hainan Island on Tuesday at 9:19 p.m. (Manila time).
The agency said it was able to verify the estimated drop zones of the rocket debris from a notice by the Civil Aviation Administration of China.
"Two drop zones within the Philippine territory have been identified based on the NOTAM: Drop zone 1 is approximately 71 kilometers from Burgos, Ilocos Norte, while drop zone 2 is approximately 52 kilometers away from Sta. Ana, Cagayan," PhilSA said in an advisory.
The agency warned that the falling rocket debris poses a "considerable threat to ships, aircraft, fishing boats, and other vessels that will pass through the drop zones", but noted it is unlikely to fall on inhabited areas or land features.
PhilSA noted that in July this year, the core stage debris of a Long March 5B rocket landed on Philippine waters in uncontrolled reentry.
"In the case of Long March 7A, the possibility of a similar uncontrolled reentry of the rocket’s upper stages cannot be ruled out at this time," it said.
The agency called on the public to immediately inform local authorities if suspected rocket debris is found.
"PhilSA also cautions everyone against retrieving or coming in close contact with these materials," it said.