Tsunami alert issued for 5 Bicol provinces

LEGAZPI CITY — An alert was raised Friday afternoon in Bicol after a magnitude 8 quake occurred off Mexico advising the disaster councils of the provinces of Albay, Sorsogon, Catanduanes, Camarines Sur and Norte to be on their toes, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in Bicol said.

The OCD issued the advisory directing all disaster councils of the five Bicol provinces to be on high alert and closely monitor a possible sea level rise in their respective shorelines, Cherry Ann Balingit, OCD administration chief, said.

Balingit, in a phone interview, said that the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) issued at around 1:09 p.m. Friday Tsunami Information Bulletin No. 1 Advisory of a possible sea-level change following an earthquake with 8.0 magnitude that occurred off the coast of Chiapas, Mexico at 12:490 p.m. (Phil Standard Time) also Friday, with a depth of 33km.

The advisory said the earthquake has the potential to generate a destructive tsunami that can strike coastlines in the regions that are near the epicenter within minutes to hours.

The OCD has advised the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) to activate the town and city DRRMCs for possible evacuation of residents of coastal villages as preemptive measure.

Though the advisory stated that “No Evacuation Order” was in effect, coastal communities in the eastern seaboard of Bicol that are fronting the Pacific Ocean were advised to be on the lookout.

These areas are in Albay, particularly the towns and cities in the eastern seaboard such as Manito, Rapu-Rapu, Santo Domingo, Bacacay, Malilipot, Malinao, Tiwi and the cities of Legazpi and Tabaco.  PNA-northboundasia.com