Tsunami Alert up in some PH provinces after Solomon Island earthquake

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has raised a tsunami alert level following a strong earthquake that shook Solomon Island Wednesday morning, February 6, 2013.

“A strong distant earthquake occurred near Santa Cruz Island with depth of 33 kilometers and a preliminary magnitude of 8,” PHIVOLCS announced. “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.”

The agency further stated that the “Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii will monitor sea level gauges nearest the region and report if any tsunami wave activity is observed.”

PHIVOLCS raised Tsunami Alert Level No. 1 over the eastern seaboard of the country, meaning the areas facing the Pacific Ocean.

There is “NO EVACUATION ORDER” in effect “but communities along the east coast of the country are advised to wait for further information and to prepare for possible evacuation,” PHIVOLCS explained.

According to PHIVOLCS, the following coastal areas should keep watch:
  1. Batanes Group of Islands
  2. Cagayan
  3. Ilocos Norte
  4. Isabela
  5. Quezon
  6. Aurora
  7. Camarines Norte
  8. Camarines Sur
  9. Albay
  10. Catanduanes
  11. Sorsogon
  12. Northern Samar
  13. Eastern Samar
  14. Leyte
  15. Southern Leyte
  16. Surigao del Norte
  17. Surigao del Sur
  18. Davao Oriental
  19. Davao del Sur
PHIVOLCS said it is monitoring the sea level changes in the epicentral area and will relay significant observations to concerned authorities.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake “occurred as a result of shallow thrust faulting on or near the plate boundary interface between the Australia and Pacific plates.”

Update: Minutes before 1 p.m., PHIVOLCS lifted the Tsunami Alert.