An earthquake hit Saturday just before 11:00 p.m. off the coast of the Philippines in Mindanao, igniting fears of a possible tsunami.
A tsunami warning was issued after the quake erupted, the Associated Press (AP) reported, noting it was a preliminary magnitude 7.6.
The outlet continued:
The quake struck at 10:37 p.m. at a depth of 32 kilometers (20 miles), according to the U.S. Geological Survey. There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said based on the magnitude and location, it expected tsunami waves to hit the southern Philippines and parts of Indonesia, Palau and Malaysia.
According to the National Ocean Service, a tsunami consists of massive waves caused by earthquakes or volcanic eruptions beneath the sea that grow in height while traveling inland.
“The speed of tsunami waves depends on ocean depth rather than the distance from the source of the wave. Tsunami waves may travel as fast as jet planes over deep waters, only slowing down when reaching shallow waters,” the site read.
Following the recent earthquake, a tsunami advisory was issued for Japan’s Pacific coastal areas, NHK WORLD reported Saturday.
“The Japan Meteorological Agency is urging people to stay away from coastal areas as a 1-meter tsunami is expected,” the outlet said.
“Tsunami can arrive repeatedly, and the height of the waves could rise suddenly,” it continued, adding, “People in the areas under the advisory should stay away from the coast, regardless of the estimated time of arrival.”
Meanwhile, Teresita Balcol, who leads the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, said the group urged people living on the coast of southern Surigao del Sur and Davao Oriental to evacuate the area for safety, per the AP.
“Based on the quake’s magnitude, Bacolcol said a 1-meter (3.2-foot) tsunami may hit but the wave could be higher in enclosed coves, bays and straits,” the outlet noted.
In May, a tsunami alert was lifted once a 7.7 magnitude earthquake shook the Pacific, AFP reported at the time.