A tsunami warning issued after a 7.6 magnitude earthquake hit off the Philippines coast on Friday has been cancelled, although Philippine authorities maintained their tsunami warning until a wave measuring 6 to 18 inches hit coastal areas.
The earthquake was centered 91 miles east of Guiuan in Samar province at a depth of 20 miles, and the resulting tsunami warning had residents fleeing to higher ground after the strong tremors damaged roads and bridges in the area, reports Reuters.
While the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center cancelled its tsunami warning about two hours after the quake, Philipine authorities maintained theirs, ordering residents to immediately leave coastal areas. Samar congressman Ben Evardone stated:
“We are in a wait and see situation, some bridges and roads were damaged and people panicked and are now on higher ground.”
The International Business Times notes that a series of aftershocks hit the area as well, with one measuring a magnitude 5.5. A minor tsunami was seen in the Philippines, with the Philippines’ National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council measuring a wave between 6 and 18 inches.
While the wave caused no damage, the earthquake triggered a landslide near Cagayan de Oro, which killed a 50-year-old man and injured a 5-year-old boy. Benito Ramos, the country’s Civil Defense Chief, stated that, “The quake occurred amid a strong rain, so the earth shook loose and there was a landslide.”
The Philippines earthquake took place in the center of the Mariana Trench, but thankfully the resulting tsunami warnings did not precede a disastrous wave.