Police units in quake-hit areas alerted vs tsunami-A A +A
Monday, February 6, 2012
MANILA (Updated 3:55 p.m.) — Policemen in Central and Western Visayas have been tasked to help in the evacuation of residents in areas rattled by magnitude-6.9 quake on Monday.
This developed after state seismologists issued a tsunami alert along the coasts of eastern Negros Oriental and the western part of Cebu province. The tsunami can generate waves as high as three feet or one meter.
“Local PNP (Philippine National Police) Units in Region 7 under Chief Superintendent Marcelo Garbo and Region 6 under Chief Superintendent Cipriano Querol Jr. were likewise alerted to establish effective information and mass communication with local government units and local disaster-risk reduction agencies to sound-off tsunami warning alert,” PNP spokesperson Chief Superintendent Agrimero Cruz Jr. said in a text message.
Earlier, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) asked the affected residents to stay away from the shoreline.
“People should not go to the coast to watch the tsunami. People whose houses are very near coastal areas in Negros and Cebu islands are strongly advised to be watchful,” Phivolcs said.
Intensity 7, which is classified as “destructive” under the Phivolcs’ Earthquake Intensity Scale, was felt in Dumaguete City and Vallerhermoso, Negros Oriental.
Under this scenario, old or poorly built structures may suffer considerable damage. Some cracks may also appear on dikes, fish ponds, road surface, or concrete hollow blocks.
Intensity 6 was experienced in La Carlota City; La Castellana, Negros Occidental and Argao, Cebu; Intensity 5 in Roxas City; Dao and Ivisan, Capiz; Iloilo City; Ayungon, Negros Oriental; Kanlaon City; Lapu-Lapu City; Guimaras; Cebu City; San Carlos City; Bacolod City; Sagay City; Tagbilaran City; Candoni, Binalbagan, Negros Occidental.
The rest of the intensities are as follows: Intensity 4 in San Jose de Buenavista, Pandan, Anini-y, Patnungon, Antique; Kalibo, Aklan; Dipolog City; Sipalay, Negros Occidental; Ormoc City; Intensity 3 in Butuan City, Agusan del Norte; Legaspi City, Albay; Carmen, Cagayan de Oro; Tacloban City; Catbalogan; Saint Bernard, Southern Leyte; Masbate, Masbate; Cagayan de Oro City; Intensity 2 in Cabid-an, Sorsogon; Borongan, Eastern Samar; Mambajao, Camiguin; Intensity 1 in Pagadian City.
In Malacanang, President Benigno Aquino III has tasked Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Siesmology (Phivolcs) to monitor the affected areas for further seismic activity, Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said.
Philvolcs has issued a Level 2 tsunami alert requiring residents in affected areas to stay away from the shorelines and to be on alert for unusual waves.
Department of Transportation and Communications Secretary Manuel Roxas II has instructed Coast Guard Chief Edmund Tan to prevent fishermen from going out to sea for the duration of the alert.
National Police Chief Nicanor Bartolome has also directed the immediate mobilization of all PNP resources and personnel in Central and Western Visayas to assist in disaster response and mitigation efforts.
He tasked the police to keep the population away from the shoreline, and to ensure the maintenance of peace and order, while the alert is ongoing.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development personnel are already on standby to lend support and relief to affected citizens.
While there are no forced evacuations being ordered, Malacanang asked the people in affected areas to remain vigilant and take the necessary safety precautions.
“Let us cooperate with government agencies, allow them to do their work, and remain calm and watchful,” Lacierda said. (Virgil Lopez/Jill Beltran/Sunnex)