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PIA Press Release

Chile tremor triggers tsunami alert in Eastern Visayas

Tacloban City (February 28) -- Four provinces in Eastern Visayas Region are among the coastal areas fronting the Pacific that should keep watch for possible tsunami occurrences following the 8.8 magnitude earthquake which hit Chile early morning on Saturday. Identified are the coastal areas fronting Pacific Ocean in the provinces of Leyte, Southern Leyte, Eastern Samar and Northern Samar.

"The estimated arrival time of the first tsunami waves is between 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM (Philippine Time) on 28 February 2010 (Sunday afternoon)," the Phivolcs said in its 11:30 pm bulletin posted on Saturday and in its tsunami alert level 2 advisory issued early morning of Sunday.

The RDCC 8 operations center based at the Office of Civil Defense has issued the warning to the concerned local government executives in the Region. Aside from that, the Philippine National Police has also alerted all the concerned local police stations for appropriate action.

The RDCC 8 Opcen also requested the Philippine Information Agency to conduct intensive info dissemination in the various radio stations in the Region in order to prevent panic among the people.

It was learned that there was panic in several areas in the Region because of the tsunami warning. In San Jose, Dulag, Leyte, for one, the people were evacuated to the nearby Burauen town since 11:30 in the evening of February 27, making the big barangay virtually a ghost barangay.

The message of Phivolcs director Dr. Renato Solidum was very clear-- that Tsunami Alert Level 1 means that no evacuation order is in effect. communities along the identified coasts are advised to prepare for possible evacuation. People from threatened communities are strongly advised to coordinate and follow safety instructions from the Office of Civil Defense and local disaster officials," Phivolcs said.

"This is a standard operating procedure that when there's a big earthquake that could bring tsunami to us, we issue Alert Level 1 to advise the public. We only order evacuation when we raise Alert Level No. 3."

With issuance of Alert level 2, the public is advised to stay away from the shorelines and stay put awaiting for instructions to evacuate. Boats already at sea must be brought to the shoreline and secured well. (PIA 8) [top]

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