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Tsunami warning up over 4 northern Luzon areas after Taiwan earthquake

A tsunami warning has been issued over four areas in northern Luzon following Wednesday morning's strong earthquake in Taiwan, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) said.

According to PHIVOLCS, the tsunami warning was up over Batanes Group of Islands, Cagayan, llocos Norte, and Isabela.

The warning was lifted at 10:33 a.m.

A Reuters report, citing Taiwan central weather administration, said the magnitude of 7.2 hit Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, on Wednesday morning.

The strong quake knocked out power in several parts of the city, according to a Reuters witness.

PHIVOLCS said the coastal areas in the Philippines fronting the Pacific ocean are expected to experience high tsunami waves, and advised people in the concerned coastal areas to immediately evacuate.

“The people in the coastal areas of the following provinces are STRONGLY ADVISED TO IMMEDIATELY EVACUATE to higher grounds or move farther inland,” PHIVOLCS said.

“Owners of boats in harbors, estuaries or shallow coastal water 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,” it added.

The first tsunami waves are forecasted to arrive between 08:33 a.m. to 10:33 a.m. (PST) and may not be the largest. These waves may continue for hours.

Interviewed on Dobol B TV, PHIVOLCS chief Teresito Bacolcol said the tsunami could be "devastating" if it reaches three meters high.

"We advise people living in the coastal areas of Batanes, Cagayan, Ilocos Norte and Isabela to move to higher grounds or move further inland kasi po based on the modelling, puwedeng magkaroon ng one to three meters tsunami waves," he said.

(We advise people living in the coastal areas of Batanes, Cagayan, Ilocos Norte and Isabela to move to higher grounds or move further inland because based on the modeling there could be one to three meter tsunami waves.)

"Kung three meters 'yun, devastating 'yun (If it is three meters, that's devastating)," he added.

In a separate Super Radyo dzBB interview, Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba said municipal disaster and risk reduction management offices (MDRRMOs) have been advised to inform the barangays on the possible tsunami.

"We have an island town and island barangays diyan sa north and of course 'yung mga coastal towns namin. There are 11 coastal towns along sa coast ng between China and Pacific Ocean," he said.

(We have an island town and island barangays in the north and of course our coastal towns. There are 11 coastal towns along the coast between China and the Pacific Ocean.)

"Kaya 'yun, nasasabihan ang mga MDRRMOs na sabihan naman ang mga barangays nila along the coast para lumayo lang sa coastline," he added.

(That's why the MDRRMOs were advised to inform the residents along coastal barangays to stay away from the coastline.)

Isabela Governor Rodito Albano, in a separate interview, said the provincial government is considering implementing a preemptive evacuation following the tsunami warning.

"May four na coastal towns sa Isabela... Siguro, mag-aano na lang kami ng preemptive evacuation. Ma-alert na 'yung mga mayors doon at saka mga rescue teams nila," Albano said.

(There are four coastal towns in Isabela... Maybe, we will implement preemptive evacuation. The mayors and their rescue teams will be alerted.)

According to PHIVOLCS, the 7.5 magnitude earthquake with 19 kilometers of depth occurred in Taiwan at around 7:58 a.m. —KBK, GMA Integrated News