Late on Saturday night, a powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.6 rattled the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, prompting authorities to issue a tsunami warning.
The quake, occurring at 10:37 p.m. local time, had a depth of 32 kilometers (20 miles), as reported by the U.S. Geological Survey. Fortunately, there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, considering the magnitude and location of the earthquake, anticipated the possibility of tsunami waves affecting the southern Philippines, as well as parts of Indonesia, Palau, and Malaysia.
Teresito Bacolcol, the head of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, urged residents along the coast of southern Surigao del Sur and Davao Oriental provinces to evacuate immediately to higher ground or move further inland.
The earthquake agency also issued warnings to owners of boats in harbors, estuaries, or shallow coastal waters, advising them to secure their boats and move away from the waterfront. Boats already at sea were instructed to stay offshore in deep waters until further notice.
Bacolcol stated that, based on the earthquake's magnitude, a 1-meter (3.2-foot) tsunami might hit, with the potential for higher waves in enclosed coves, bays, and straits.
The Philippines, situated on the Pacific "Ring of Fire," regularly experiences seismic activity and volcanic eruptions. The archipelago is known for being one of the world's most disaster-prone regions, also facing approximately 20 typhoons and storms annually.
Authorities are closely monitoring the situation as the affected regions brace for potential tsunami impacts. (ILKHA)
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