DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 17 Sept) – A tsunami alert has been raised over 20 provinces, five of them in Mindanao, after a 7.9 magnitude earthquake rattled near the coast of Chile at 6:55 a.m. (Philippine time).
Based on latest tsunami bulletin issued at 7:22 a.m., the threatened Mindanao provinces are Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Davao del Sur, and Davao Occidental.
“An earthquake of this size has the potential to generate a destructive tsunami that can strike coastlines in the region near the epicenter within minutes to hours,” it added.
No evacuation has so far been implemented but coastal communities under the Phivolcs’ tsunami watch are told to “Wait and listen for updates”.
These include Batanes Group of Islands, Cagayan, Ilocos Norte, Isabela, Quezon, Aurora, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Catanduanes, Sorsogon, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Leyte, and Southern Leyte.
The strong quake has a depth of 33 kilometers and was seen 46 kilometers West of Illapel, Chile in South America, according to United States Geological Survey (USGS).
The USGS report cited the quake occurred “as the result of thrust faulting on the interface between the Nazca and South America plates in Central Chile.”
In the Philippines, minor quakes have so far been reported. As of 2 p.m. on Thursday, 3 magnitude earthquake, with a depth of 24 kms, was observed 36 kilometers southwest of Kalamansig in Sultan Kudarat.