CEBU CITY (4th Update) -- State seismologists downgraded Friday the earthquake that hit some areas in Visayas and Mindanao from 7.9 to 7.7, but tsunami warning remains in effect as of this posting.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the epicenter of the earthquake, which was recorded earlier at magnitude 7.9, was located off Guiuan, Eastern Samar.
It was located specifically at 94 kilometers (km) east of Sulangan, Eastern Samar; 106 km east southeast of Guiuan, Eastern Samar; 161 km east southeast of Borongan, also in Eastern Samar; and 174 km northeast of Surigao, said the US Geological Survey.
Intensity 7 was felt in Guian, Oras, Sulat, Borongan City, all in Eastern Samar, while intensity 6 was felt in Siargao, Surigao del Norte; Tacloban; Palo, Leyte; and St. Bernard, Southern Leyte.
Intensity 5 was felt in Mati City, Compostela, Legaspi City, Iloilo City, Bislig City, and Iligan City; Intensity 4 in Butuan City, Catbalogan City, and Cagayan de Oro City; Intensity 3 in Cotabato City, Mambajao in Camiguin, and General Santos City; and intensity 2 in Marawi City and Sipalay City.
Tsunami warning was issued following the earthquake, particularly in Eastern Samar, Surigao del Norte, Northern Samar, Southern Leyte, Surigao and Bicol.
The USGS also issued the tsunami warning in Indonesia, Taiwan, Japan and Guam.
Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum advised residents in coastal villages to evacuate to higher grounds.
Southern Leyte Governor Damian Mercado said in a radio interview that he told all town mayors in the province to evacuate all families living in coastal areas. Evacuation is also ongoing in Eastern Samar, Northern Samar, and Surigao.
Television and radio reports said seven houses in Cagayan de Oro were damaged following the earthquake. One was reported dead, while another was injured.
Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Vicente Emano said flashfloods and landslide triggered by the quake occurred in the city. The tsunami alert, however, was lifted in the city.
In Northern Samar, Governor Paul Daza said cracked roads were reported in Catarman, the province’s capital, as well as in other areas. He said they are still doing emergency evacuation due to the tsunami warning.
The government is still assessing other damages in areas hit by the quake as of this posting. (Sunnex)