Celso on Japan tsunami: Don’t panic, but be on alert PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 12 March 2011 16:15

Mayor Celso Lobregat yesterday called on residents particularly those residing along coastal areas not to panic or be alarmed following the catastrophic tsunami in Japan spawned by a strong earthquake at around 1:46pm yesterday near the coast of Honshu, Japan.

Nevertheless, the mayor said people should be on alert even if Zamboanga City and the entire Region 9, per advisory from the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council, is not in the direct path of the tsunami.

“We advise people not to panic. Zamboanga is not included in the alert level and it is best that our people should be informed that we are not in the direct path of the tsunami”, the mayor said.
Reports reaching City Hall yesterday said that some residents in Labuan and some other coastal areas in the west coast were panicking following broadcast reports about the disastrous tsunami spawned by the 8.6 magnitude earthquake.

The mayor immediately communicated with the barangay chairmen of concerned barangays to personally inform about the NDRRMC advisory. “There is no need to panic, no need for evacuation because Zamboanga is not included in the direct path of the tsunami.

According to Lobregat, the NDRRMC advisory lists down the coastal areas fronting the Pacific Ocean to keep watch of possible unusual waves. The list includes Batanes Group of Islands, Cagayan, Northernmost areas of Ilocos Norte, Isabela, Quezon, Aurora, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Catanduanes, Sorsogon, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Davao Oriental and Davao del Sur.

The bulletin states that “based on tsunami wave models and early tide gauge records of the tsunami in the Pacific, coastal areas in Philippine provinces fronting the Pacific Ocean are expected to experience wave heights of at most one meter”. The first tsunami waves were expected to arrive between 5-7 pm yesterday, March 11. 

The NDRRMC, according to Mayor Lobregat, also advised people from the affected areas to stay away from the shoreline during the period.

“We want to make sure that our citizens are informed about the bulletin to avoid panic”, the mayor said in a hastily called press briefing at City Hall, barely an hour after reports about the Japan disaster broke out. — Sheila Covarrubias