Solomons quake triggers PH tsunami watch
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - Residents of provinces along the country's Pacific coast were told to keep watch for the effects of a powerful quake hit the Solomon Islands on Wednesday, February 6.
Tsunami Alert Level 1 was raised for communities in the country's east coast after the Solomon Islands earthquake generated a tsunami warning affecting large parts of the Pacific.
There was no evacuation order, but residents in the following provinces should "wait for further information and to prepare for possible evacuation" in case a tsunami is monitored to be approaching:
- Ilocos Norte
- Camarines Norte
- Camarines Sur
- Northern Samar
- Eastern Samar
- Southern Leyte
- Surigao del Norte
- Surigao del Sur
- Davao Oriental
- Davao del Sur
The alert was lifted at past noon Philippine time, after the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center lifted the warnings for affected areas in the Pacific basin.
"The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) reported a 0.91m tsunami recorded by the tide gauge in Santa Cruz Islands but the recorded tsunami wave height in Vanuatu, closer to the Philippines, is only 0.26m. The current trend of observed wave heights suggests that the threat of a hazardous tsunami has passed," the Phivolcs' final bulletin said.
A major 8.0 magnitude earthquake was feared to have flattened villages in the Solomon Islands Wednesday, and triggered a tsunami with destructive potential for Pacific nations' coasts, monitors said.
Tsunami watches were in effect as far afield as Hawaii, the PTWC said, and New Zealand was also on guard. But monitors said there was no threat to Australia.
The US Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake struck at 0112 GMT near the Santa Cruz Islands in the Solomons, which have been hit by a series of strong tremors over the past week, at a depth of 5.8 kilometers (3.5 miles).
Powerful aftershocks were also recorded. - KD Suarez/Rappler.com, with the Agence France-Presse