The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) will hold a simultaneous earthquake and tsunami drill on Thursday, Nov. 14, all over the country.
“Tsunamis cannot be prevented, but the impacts can be mitigated through community preparedness, timely warnings, and proper action,” PHIVOLCS said in a press release.
The agency warned that all coastal areas in the Philippines can be affected by tsunamis caused by either under-the-sea earthquakes, submarine landslides or volcanic eruptions.
PHIVOLCS also stressed the importance of recognizing the three natural signs of a locally-generated earthquake, which can reach the coast in minutes.
These natural signs include strong ground shaking, drop or sudden change in the sea level, and the roaring sound of incoming waves.
“If one of these is experienced, immediately move to high ground, and stay away from beaches and waterways,” PHIVOLCS said.
The agency reminded the people that 2019 marks the 25th anniversary of the magnitude 7.1 earthquake and the tsunami that hit Mindoro in Nov. 15, 1994.
PHIVOLCS said that the disaster severely affected northern Mindoro towns, and killed 78 people.
“Tsunami waves reached Puerto Galera, San Teodoro, Baco, Calapan City, Naujan, Pola, Pinamalayan, and Bongabong in Oriental Mindoro, and Verde Island, Batangas,” PHIVOLCS said.
“The maximum tsunami run-up height was 8.5 meters, almost as high as a three-storey building, in Baco,” PHIVOLCS added.
The agency urges the public to take part in the upcoming earthquake and tsunami drill.