Upgraded magnitude of offshore earthquake strikes Surigao del Sur Province, Philippines

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Surigao del Sur Province

3rd December 2023 – (Manila) The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) has revised the magnitude of the offshore earthquake that struck Surigao del Sur province in the southern Philippines on Saturday night. The earthquake’s magnitude has been upgraded from 6.9 to 7.4, according to the latest report by the institute.

The seismic event occurred at 10.37pm local time (GMT 1437) on Saturday, with its epicentre located approximately 30 kilometres northeast of Hinatuan town. The earthquake struck at a depth of 25 kilometres, causing tremors to be felt in various parts of Mindanao island and central Philippines. Despite its upgraded magnitude, there have been no immediate reports of damages resulting from the earthquake.

PHIVOLCS has recorded over 200 aftershocks following the main earthquake, with some registering magnitudes exceeding 5 and 6. These aftershocks serve as a reminder of the potential seismic activity in the region and the importance of ongoing monitoring and preparedness.

In response to the earthquake, PHIVOLCS issued a tsunami warning on Saturday night, urging residents in coastal areas near the epicentre to evacuate to higher ground or move further inland. However, authorities later announced that residents could safely return home after a few hours, indicating that the immediate threat of a tsunami had subsided.

Taking precautionary measures, the Philippine Coast Guard has placed all vessels and aircraft on alert, ready for immediate deployment if necessary. This heightened state of readiness ensures a swift response in the event of any emergencies or assistance required in affected areas.

The Philippines, an archipelagic nation, experiences frequent seismic activities due to its location along the Pacific “Ring of Fire.” This region is known for its tectonic plate boundaries, resulting in a higher occurrence of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The country’s geographical positioning necessitates continuous monitoring and preparedness efforts to safeguard the population and minimize potential damages.

Just last month, a 6.8-magnitude offshore earthquake struck approximately 34 kilometres northwest of Sarangani town, reaching a depth of 72 kilometres. Tragically, this event led to at least nine reported deaths, highlighting the destructive power and impact of earthquakes in the region.