FOLLOWING the 7.4 magnitude earthquake that rocked the Southern region of Mindanao, in the evening of December 2, 2023, the City Government of Mati, through its City Information Office, has advised its 2,697 residents to go back to their respective homes after an hour-long displacement.
The announcement comes after the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology-Davao Region (DOST-Phivolcs) lifted the tsunami warning in east coast portions of Surigao del Sur and Davao Oriental around 3 a.m. of December 3.
The earthquake, which caused a tsunami alert, was first reported to be 6.9 magnitude before it was downgraded by the DOST-Phivolcs.
The DOST confirmed that a tsunami hit the coastal areas of Mati but it was only recorded at 0.08 meter or 3.15 inches wave height.
“A major earthquake occurred 30 km offshore of Surigao del Sur on December 2, 2023 at 10:37 p.m. Philippine Standard Time (PST), located at 08.44°N, 126.60°E with a depth of 25 km and a magnitude of 7.4. DOST-Phivolcs issued a Tsunami Warning for all coastal communities in the provinces of Surigao del Sur and Davao Oriental, recommending immediate evacuation in these areas. Sea level monitoring stations confirmed the occurrence of tsunami with preliminary wave heights of 0.64 meter in Mawes Island, Hinatuan, 0.18 meter in Lawigan, Bislig City, 0.05 meter in Port of Dapa, Surigao del Norte and 0.08 meter in Mati, Davao Oriental.”
“The last recorded tsunami wave arrival in the Philippines occurred at 2:52 a.m. (PST) at Hinatuan-Bislig Bay Station on Mawes Island. This means that the tsunami threat associated with this earthquake has now largely passed the Philippines,” the warning stated.
Consequently, DOST-Phivolcs has already canceled all tsunami warnings issued for this earthquake event.
In separate information, the U.S Tsunami Warning System, which initially warned of waves of up to 3 meters (10 feet) above the usual high tide level, also lifted its tsunami threat.
As of press writing, Mati City alongside its Social Welfare and Development Office continued its disaster assessment by providing hot meals and medical assistance to the affected residents temporarily sheltered in nine evacuation centers.
The tremor’s epicenter was located 30 kilometers northeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur and reached some parts of Western Visayas and Zamboanga Peninsula Region where intensity I was felt. DEF