Tsunami alert in the Philippines: Filipino netizens brace for impact

[UPDATE: As of 4:30 pm of February 28, the government has cancelled all Tsunami alert warnings over the entire Philippines.]

The Philippines has placed nearly two dozen areas in the eastern part of the Philippines under “Tsunami Alert Level 1” hours after a devastating earthquake hit the South American country of Chile.

The magnitude 8.8 Chile earthquake was so strong that tsunamis threaten the Philippines and many areas of the Pacific, with media reports describing it as 900 times stronger than the temblor that recently devastated Haiti.

In an advisory issued late Saturday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) estimated that the first tsunami waves will reach the Philippines between 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM (Philippine Time or GMT+8) said an advisory from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).

No evacuation order has been issued. But Phivolcs advised communities in identified areas to prepare for possible evacuation.

“People from threatened communities are strongly advised to coordinate and follow safety instructions from the Office of Civil Defense and local disaster officials,” said Phivolcs.

Netizens preparing

Filipinos online have started bracing for any eventuality, with veterans of the online relief campaigns in the aftermath of the supertyphoon Ondoy (Ketsana) again raising a call for disaster preparedness.

Filipino users on Twitter are using the hashtag #SHOOnami for sharing tsunami information.

The Huffington Post set up a “Philippines Tsunami Impact: Live Updates” to cover what may transpire in the archipelago. About a million Filipinos and Filipino-Americans live and work in the US state of California which is also the subject of tsunami warnings.

No Filipino reported hurt or killed in Chile

Earlier, the Department of Foreign Affairs reported that no Filipino citizen was in the initial list of casualties from the Chile earthquake.

There are 89 Filipinos living and working in Chile, said the DFA.

The National Disaster Coordinating Center has echoed Phivolcs’ advisory and has not made separate pronouncements.

As of press time, Phivolcs reports that the last earthquake to hit the Philippines occurred near Ormoc City, Leyte province at 3:34 PM on February 27, about an hour after the Chile earthquake. The agency did not say whether the two quakes were related.