Phivolcs: Tremors in Taiwan won’t reach northern Philippines

2024 April 3

MANILA – With Taiwan’s close proximity to the northern part of the country, the head of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Wednesday assured that tremors in Taiwan won’t reach northern Philippines.

“The shaking won’t reach, and won’t be felt in Northern Luzon. The only effect in case of a major earthquake is if it would cause a tsunami, it would surely hit the northern part of the Philippines,” Phivolcs Director Teresito Bacolcol said in a televised briefing.

He also noted that earthquakes are random, and the earthquake in Taiwan will have nothing to do with the movements of the Philippines’ active faults.

“When the country’s active faults move, it’s because it is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, and because these faults are very much active,” he said.

Taiwan, he said, could experience aftershocks as high as magnitude 6.4 in the next few hours or weeks.

Meanwhile, Bacolcol said it is important for the public to know the signs of a tsunami.

“If there’s a strong earthquake that makes you almost unable to stand, and you notice a sudden drop of sea level and you hear a rolling sound coming from the sea, you should immediately move to higher grounds,” he said.

He added that authorities would have time to issue a tsunami warning if it is far, like what happened in Taiwan.

For locally-generated tsunami, however, Bacolcol said authorities couldn’t issue an advisory as tsunami waves could be expected in five minutes.

Phivolcs has earlier issued a tsunami warning for the coastal communities in Batanes Group of Islands, Cagayan, Ilocos Norte, and Isabela following the powerful quake that hit Taiwan early Wednesday morning.

It was later canceled after no unusual sea level changes were recorded and the tsunami threat had largely passed.

Ma. Cristina Arayata (PNA)