Tsunami waves of 40 cm (1.3 feet) were observed in Japan’s Hachijojima island, some 290km (180 miles) south of Tokyo, on Sunday (Dec 3) after a powerful earthquake of 7.5 magnitude jolted Mindanao in the southern Philippines late Saturday (Dec 2).
The earthquake led the US Tsunami Warning System to initially issue a tsunami warning for some parts of the Philippine coast. However, the alert was later withdrawn.
“Based on all available data, … the tsunami threat from this earthquake has now passed,” it said.
Meanwhile, a separate tsunami alert was issued for Japan, with the Japan Meteorological Agency saying the waves could reach a metre (3 feet) in height.
On Sunday, high waves were also expected to hit parts of Indonesia, Palau and Malaysia.
500 aftershocks in the Philippines
As per media reports, the Saturday quake claimed one life in the Philippines, while some residents reported damage to buildings in the Mindanao region, which is less populated than some parts of the archipelago.
More than 500 aftershocks were recorded, and the Philippines’ Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) urged caution as people resumed normal activities.
Following the earthquake, the Philippine Coast Guard said it was putting all its vessels and aircraft on alert for potential dispatch.
People arriving back to their homes
After a brief evacuation from coastal regions, people began arriving back to their homes early Sunday.
“We started going back to our homes early on Sunday, although we are still shaking because of aftershocks,” Julita Bicap, 51, a front desk staffer at GLC Suites hotel in the seaside town of Bislig, said after power was restored around 5 am local time.