Philippines Lifts Tsunami Alert after Magnitude 7.4 Earthquake

World Defense

Philippines Lifts Tsunami Alert after Magnitude 7.4 Earthquake

A powerful earthquake in the southern Philippines has resulted in at least one fatality, prompting the evacuation of thousands, including areas in Japan, following tsunami warnings that were eventually lifted, as reported by Al Jazeera. The earthquake, registering a magnitude of 7.6 according to the US Geological Survey (USGS) and 7.5 according to the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre, struck off the coast of Mindanao island at a depth of 32km. Subsequent to the initial quake at 10:37 pm (14:37 GMT), four significant aftershocks, each exceeding magnitudes of 6.0, occurred over several hours on Sunday.

Tsunami warnings were issued across the Pacific region, prompting residents along the east coast of Mindanao to evacuate buildings, with even a hospital being emptied as people sought higher ground. Japanese authorities issued evacuation orders in various parts of Okinawa prefecture, affecting thousands, although later reports confirmed no significant tsunami risk.

Tragically, in Tagum city in Davao del Norte province, a pregnant woman lost her life as a collapsed 4.5-meter (15-feet) concrete wall struck her, her husband, and her daughter. The husband and daughter sustained injuries. Despite initial projections of waves up to 3 meters (10 feet) along parts of the Philippine coast, the US Tsunami Warning System declared no ongoing tsunami threat.

In Japan, waves of up to 1 meter (3.2 feet) were expected along the southwest coast. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) anticipated minimal damage but warned of potential aftershocks. Police chief Raymark Gentallan reported power outages in Hinatuan near the epicenter but noted no casualties or significant damage. Evacuated villagers have returned home, and civil aviation officials found no major damage to southern airports.

Earthquakes are not uncommon in the Philippines, situated on the Ring of Fire, a region prone to seismic activity encircling the Pacific Ocean. As the affected areas assess the aftermath, social media images from Hinatuan depict residents heading towards elevated areas during the evacuation, highlighting the resilience and preparedness of communities in the face of such natural disasters.

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