Metro Manila, Philippines — More than half of the country’s provinces and nine cities in the National Capital Region are prone to tsunamis, according to state seismologists.
“We have 66 out of 82 provinces in the country that face various tsunami risks,” Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology Director Teresito Bacolcol told CNN Philippines’ The Final Word on Friday.
Bacolcol said these are low-lying provinces along the eastern seaboard facing the Philippine Sea.
He added that coastal provinces bordering the West Philippine Sea are also vulnerable to local tsunamis from earthquakes coming from the Manila, Negros, and Sulu trenches.
Aside from the 66 provinces, Bacolcol said nine cities in Metro Manila are also included. These are
– Las Piñas
“If we have a magnitude 8.3 earthquake along the Manila trench, there will be around 3.5-meter high tsunami waves, during high tide it will be 5.5 meters” he warned.
Bacolcol added that the flood would go as far as 2.7 kilometers inland.
In August 1976, a magnitude 8.1 earthquake in Moro Gulf caused up to 9-meter high tsunamis that devastated the southwest coast of Mindanao. It left more than 3,000 people dead and at least 1,000 missing.
A Mindoro earthquake also generated tsunamis in November 1994 that left 49 casualties.
Phivolcs, meanwhile, said they have initiatives in place to mitigate the effects of tsunamis such as hazard mapping.
Bacolcol said they have already mapped 56 provinces and are continuing to map the remaining 10.