First a 7.6 Magnitude Quake, Now a Tsunami Warning

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 2, 2023 11:30 AM CST
Tsunami Warning Issued After Powerful Quake in Philippines
Stock photo of the Mindanao coast.   (Getty Images/Eduardo Cabanas)

A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.6 struck Saturday night off the coast of the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, and Philippine authorities issued a tsunami warning. The quake struck at 10:37pm local time at a depth of 20 miles, according to the US Geological Survey. There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties, per the AP. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said based on the magnitude and location, it expected tsunami waves to hit the southern Philippines and parts of Indonesia, Palau, and Malaysia.

Teresito Bacolcol, the head of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, says his agency advised residents along the coast of southern Surigao del Sur and Davao Oriental provinces to evacuate immediately to higher ground or move further inland. Owners of boats in harbors, estuaries, or shallow coastal waters off the two provinces should secure their boats and move away from the waterfront, the quake agency said in its tsunami warning. Boats already at sea should stay offshore in deep waters until further advised, it said.

Based on the quake's magnitude, Bacolcol said a 3.2-foot tsunami may hit, but the wave could be higher in enclosed coves, bays, and straits. The Philippines, one of the world's most disaster-prone countries, experiences regular earthquakes and volcanic eruptions due to its location on the Pacific "Ring of Fire," an arc of seismic faults around the ocean. The archipelago is also lashed by about 20 typhoons and storms each year.

(More Philippines stories.)

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