The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has issued a tsunami warning, now at Tsunami Alert Level 2, as of 3:30 on March 11, 2011. (Update: As of 11:30 p.m. of the same day, Phivolcs issued a Tsunami Alert Cancellation through Bulletin No. 3, stating that that “threat of a hazardous tsunami had passed”. The public, however, is “advised to avoid going to the beach and sailing out to sea.”) Phivolcs’ Tsunami Bulletin No. 2 reads in full:
Republic of the Philippines
Department of Science and Technology
PHILIPPINE INSTITUTE OF VOLCANOLOGY AND SEISMOLOGY
Tsunami Bulletin No.: 2
11 March 2011
TSUNAMI ALERT LEVEL 2
Be on Alert for Unusual Waves
A strong distant earthquake occurred NEAR COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN at 1:46 PM, 11 MARCH 2011 (Philippine Time), located at 38.2 N, 142.5 ºE with depth of 10 km and a preliminary magnitude of 8.8. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center sea level monitoring stations confirmed the occurrence of a tsunami.
PHIVOLCS Tsunami Alert Level is now 2. The concerned public is advised to BE ON ALERT FOR UNUSUAL WAVES. Based on tsunami wave models and early tide gauge records of the tsunami in the Pacific, coastal areas in Philippine provinces fronting the Pacific Ocean are expected to experience wave heights of at most one meter. The first tsunami waves will arrive between 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM MARCH 11, 2011 Philippine time and may not always be the largest. These waves may continue for hours.
People are advised to stay away from the shoreline during this period. People should not go to the coast to watch the tsunami. People whose houses are very near coastal areas facing the Pacific Ocean are strongly advised to go farther inland.
Only the coastal areas fronting the Pacific Ocean of the following provinces should keep watch:
- Batanes Group of Islands
- Northernmost areas of Ilocos Norte
- Camarines Norte
- Camarines Sur
- Northern Samar
- Eastern Samar
- Southern Leyte
- Surigao del Norte
- Surigao del Sur
- Davao Oriental
- Davao del Sur
Owners of boats in harbors, estuaries or shallow coastal water of the above-mentioned provinces should secure their boats and move away from the water front. Boats already at sea during this period should stay offshore in deep waters until further advised.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has also issued a tsunami warning, describing the risk posed by a tsunami: “A tsunami is a series of long ocean waves. Each individual wave crest can last 5 to 15 minutes or more and extensively flood coastal aqreas. The danger can continue for many hours after the initial wave as subsequent waves arrive. Tsunami wave heights cannot be predicted and the first wave may not be the largest. Tsunami wave efficiently wrap around islands. All shores are at risk no matter which direction they face. The through of a tsunami wave may temporarily expose the seafloor but the area will quickly flood again. Extremely strong and unusual nearshore currents can accompany a tsunami. Debris picked up and carried by a tsunami amplifies its destructive power. Simultaneous high tide or high surf can significantly increase the tsunami hazard.”