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Tsunami alert raised after magnitude 7.4 earthquake in Surigao del Sur

Tsunami alert raised after magnitude 6.9 earthquake jolted Surigao del Sur

State seismologists on Saturday evening issued a tsunami warning following the magnitude 7.4 earthquake that hit off the coast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur. 

In an advisory, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) said the first tsunami waves would arrive between 10:37 p.m. and 11:59 p.m. 

''These waves may continue for hours,'' it said.

''Based on the local tsunami scenario database, it is expected to experience wave heights of more than one meter above the normal tides and may be higher on enclosed bays and straits. Destructive tsunami is expected with life-threatening wave heights.''

With this development, PHIVOLCS ''strongly advised'' people living in the coastal areas of Surigao del Sur and Davao Oriental ''to immediately evacuate to higher grounds or move farther inland.''

''Owners of boats in harbors, estuaries, or shallow coastal waters of the above-mentioned provinces should secure their boats and move away from the waterfront. Boats already at sea during this period should stay offshore in deep waters until further advised,'' PHIVOLCS said. 

The earthquake, which was initially measured at magnitude 6.9, occurred at 10:37 p.m. at a depth of 25 kilometers.

Its epicenter was located 30 kilometers northeast of Hinatuan town. 

The earthquake is expected to cause damage and generate aftershocks. —VBL, GMA Integrated News