Magnitude 7.9 Quake Hits Eastern Samar; Tsunami Warnings Up Across The Pacific - USGS

31 August 2012

MANILA, Philippines - A tsunami warning has been issued for Indonesia, Philippines, Japan, Belau, Taiwan, Guam and Papua New on Friday following a magnitude 7.9 earthquake that hit the sea area in Eastern Samar, US seismologists said.

The US Geological Survey said the quake had a depth of 33 kilometers (20 miles) and hit at 8:47 p.m. some 139 km east of Sulangan City, Eastern Samar.

The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii issued a tsunami alert, saying the tsunami unleashed by the quake "could be destructive on coastal areas even far from the epicenter."

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) placed the tremor's magnitude at 7.7.

The USGS said any wave generated by the quake would be expected to hit Indonesia first.

On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.0 quake of Japan triggered a 23-foot tsunami, devastating the country's northern coast.

The official figure put the number of dead at 15,839, the injured at 5,950, and the missing at 3,642.

On December 26, 2004, a 9.1 temblor off west Sumatra, Indonesia and a subsequent tsunami with waves up to 30 meters high killed over 230,000 people in 14 countries around the Indian Ocean. -AFP, Reuters