Ahead of the World Tsunami Day on November 5, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Undersecretary Renato Solidum, Jr. is urging local government units (LGUs) to plan and prepare for it.
In a taped DOST report aired on Friday afternoon, Solidum said the Philippines is prone to tsunamis since it is an archipelago, and because it has earthquake generators.
“Based on studies, there are about 10-14 million people living near the shores that may be hit if a tsunami happens,” he said.
Solidum said that in the last 400 years, all the tsunamis that happened in the country were locally-generated, wherein the public has no time to prepare as this kind of tsunami reaches the shore right away.
The strongest, he said, happened on August 17, 1976 during the magnitude 8.1 Moro Gulf earthquake that killed around 8,000 people.
The other type of tsunami or the distant tsunami that originates from a distant source would enable people to prepare at least one to 26 hours before it reaches the shore.
LGUs and the public need to prepare, Solidum emphasized.
One must remember the three signs that a tsunami is approaching: “Shake, Drop, and Roar”.
This means that shaking or a strong earthquake would happen; a sudden drop of water would be noticeable, and an unusual sound or noise would be heard.
“These observations are very useful as these would provide a warning at the local level,” he said.
He urges the LGUs to download the HazardHunter app, as this would guide them about locations at risk for volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, and other hazards.
“They need to find areas that are safe to put the evacuation centers. The app would also guide them on which roads to take heading to the evacuation centers. The roads they should take must be roads that are safe and not prone to landslides,” he said.
Solidum added that the public must also prepare their Go-bags for such events. (Ma. Cristina Arayata/PNA)