Tsunami warning up in some PH coastal areas after Taiwan quake

By Benjamin Nathaniel Bondoc

April 3, 2024, 9:20 am Updated on April 3, 2024, 11:07 am

MANILA – The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) raised a tsunami warning in some coastal areas in the country, following a magnitude 7.5 earthquake that jolted Taiwan on Wednesday morning.

In its Tsunami Information No. 1 issued at 8:17 a.m., the agency said high tsunami waves are expected in coastal areas fronting the Pacific Ocean between 8:33 a.m. to 10:33 a.m. on Wednesday.

“It may not be the largest and these waves may continue for hours,” it added.

In a radio interview, Phivolcs director Teresito Bacolcol said coastal areas in the provinces of Batanes, Cagayan, Ilocos Norte and Isabela may see tsunami waves with a height of 1 to 3 meters.

“So far, wala pa kaming nakukuhang feedback [kakaibang galaw ng karagatang sa mga lugar na may tsunami warning] (we have yet to get any feedback on the abnormal sea conditions in areas with a tsunami warning) but we expect that,” he added.

Meanwhile, the agency advised fisherfolk and boat owners to take the necessary precautions.

“Owners of boats in harbors, estuaries or shallow water of the abovementioned provinces should secure their boats and move away from the waterfront,” it added.

The agency also said boats already at sea during this period should stay offshore in deep waters until further advised.

Quick response

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), meanwhile, said the Cagayan Valley Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council directed all local disaster response offices to launch immediate evacuation efforts in coastal areas following the tsunami alert.

"We received (a) report also from OCDRO (Office of Civil Defense Regional Office) 1 that there is an ongoing preemptive evacuation from areas of Pagudpud and Currimao in Ilocos Norte," it added.

The NDRRMC also reminded the residents near the coastal areas to monitor the situation and stay away from low-lying areas.

DMW activates protocols to monitor OFWs in Taiwan

The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) said it is closely monitoring the situation of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Taiwan, and assured readiness to provide immediate assistance to affected OFWs as necessary.

“The DMW's three Migrant Workers Offices (MWOs) in Taiwan immediately activated protocols with Filipino communities, leaders, relevant Taiwan government agencies as well as employers and trade associations to ascertain the safety and status of Taiwan-based OFWs,” the DMW said in a statement.

DMW data shows that there are about 67,475 OFWs in Taiwan as of December 2023. (with reports from Priam Nepomuceno and Marita Moaje/PNA)