No maritime accident following tsunami alert in Philippines

14:05, March 12, 2011      

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The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said on Saturday that there was no recorded maritime accident following the tsunami alert on Friday.

"The Coast Guard Action Center has not received any unusual incident report involving ships and motor bancas within the area of responsibility of respective Coast Guard Districts around the country," PCG said.

It added, however, that its people continue to closely monitor the situation and remain on heightened alert.

"While vessels are already allowed to sail, they are advised to continue to remain vigilant, observe precautionary measures, and to remain updated on weather and sea condition," the PCG said.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology ( PHIVOLCS) issued a tsunami warning after a magnitude 8.8 earthquake hit Japan on Friday, and lifted at 11:30 p.m. Friday the tsunami alert specifically in 19 provinces facing the Pacific Ocean.

More than 55,000 people along the eastern coast of the Philippines started returning to their homes on Saturday when the national tsunami warning was lifted, officials said.

National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council executive director Benito Ramos said that residents were allowed to return home after spending the night at temporary shelters inland, but advised them to avoid the water.

"The current trend of observed wave heights suggests that the threat of a hazardous tsunami has passed," he said in a statement.

Small tsunami waves struck the country on four occasions Friday evening, but caused no damage or casualties.

Source: Xinhua

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