Tsunami alert in Japan after 7.3 magnitude earthquake jolts Philippines

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An earthquake of at least magnitude 7.3 rocked Mindanao in the southern Philippines late Saturday, prompting evacuation and setting off warnings of tsunami for Japan.

According to the Philippine Seismology Agency Phivolcs, the waves might impact the Philippines by midnight (1600 GMT) and last for many hours.

According to the US Tsunami Warning System, there might be waves up to 3 metres above tide level along several Philippine shores.

“Boats already at sea during this period should stay offshore in deep waters until further advised,” Phivolcs said, asking people living near the coast of Surigao Del Sur and Davao Oriental provinces to “immediately evacuate” or “move farther inland”.

Tsunami waves of up to a metre were anticipated to hit Japan’s southwestern coast roughly 30 minutes later – around 1:30am on Sunday (1630 GMT on Saturday), according to Japanese broadcaster NHK.

Phivolcs predicted the tremor would do major damage, but warned of aftershocks.

According to Raymark Gentallan, the local police commander of Hinatuan, a seaside town near the earthquake’s epicentre, electricity has been knocked out since the tremor occurred, but emergency response personnel have not yet verified any injuries or damage.

Earthquakes are widespread in the Philippines, which is located on the Pacific Ocean’s “Ring of Fire,” a belt of volcanoes prone to seismic activity.

The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) reported a magnitude 7.5 earthquake at a depth of 63 kilometres (39 miles).

The quake had a magnitude of 7.6 and a depth of 32 kilometres (20 miles), according to the US Geographic Survey, and hit around 10:37pm, Philippines time (1437 GMT).

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