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All coastal areas in the Philippines can be affected by tsunamis generated mostly by under-the-sea earthquakes,  sometimes by submarine landslides or volcanic eruptions. Locally-generated tsunami can arrive in minutes, so it is important to recognize the natural signs – “shake, drop, and roar.” These are strong ground shaking, drop or sudden change in the sea level, and roaring sound of incoming waves. If one of these is experienced, immediately move to high ground, and stay away from beaches and waterways.

 

Map of Tsunami Prone Areas in the Philippines

Tsunami Prone Areas in the Philippines

 

 

Natural Signs of Impending Local Tsunami - Shake, Drop, Roar

Natural Signs of Impending Local Tsunami

 

 

The United Nations declared November 5 as the World Tsunami Awareness Day in honor of a true story from Japan: “Inamura-no-hi”, which means the “burning of the rice sheaves”. During an 1854 earthquake, a farmer saw the tide receding, a sign of a looming tsunami and he set fire to his harvested rice to warn villagers, who fled to high ground.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the 1994 Mindoro earthquake and tsunami. A magnitude 7.1 earthquake hit Mindoro on November 15, 1994 at 3:15 AM local time. The earthquake and tsunami severely affected several northern Mindoro towns killing 78 people. Tsunami waves reached Puerto Galera, San Teodoro, Baco, Calapan City, Naujan, Pola, Pinamalayan, and Bongabong in Oriental Mindoro, and Verde Island, Batangas. The maximum tsunami run-up height was 8.5 meters, almost as high as a three-storey building, in Baco.

Tsunamis cannot be prevented, but the impacts can be mitigated through community preparedness, timely warnings, and proper action. DOST-PHIVOLCS advocates the conduct of tsunami drills, and encourages everyone to join the Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake and tsunami Drill on November 14, 2019 at 9:00 AM.

 

[Download Press Release here]