Evacuation starts in northern Quezon

Map of the Philippines showing the location of...Image via WikipediaBy Delfin Mallari Jr.
Inquirer Southern Luzon
First Posted 17:52:00 03/11/2011

LUCENA CITY, Philippines—Local officials have started evacuating residents of coastal towns in the northern part of Quezon province to prepare for a possible tsunami event following the 8.9-magnitude earthquake that jolted northeastern Japan Friday afternoon.

Areas of the Philippines’ eastern coastline, including the Quezon Province were placed under Tsunami Alert Level 2, which calls for mandatory evacuation, from an initial Alert Level 1 by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.

“We’re now evacuating residents along the coastal villages in northern Quezon, particularly in the Polilio group of island municipalities,” Henry Buzar, coordinator of Quezon province disaster coordinating council, said over the phone.

Buzar said they have been receiving reports of panicking following the news of the earthquake in Japan.

“We immediately coordinated with local officials to supervise an orderly evacuation to safe areas. We assured the people that there is no cause for panic,” Buzar said.

Infanta Mayor Grace America said she had immediately activated the municipal disaster coordinating council after they received warning from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.

“I immediately dispatched our men to relay the warning to residents of coastal villages,” America told the Philippine Daily Inquirer by phone.

She said she has yet to receive reports of panicking in Infanta area.

“Maybe, because of what we had already been through during flashfloods in the past. We’re now ready for any eventuality because of our experience,” America said.

Lieutenant Joel Ogorida, Coast Guard Lucena district commander that also covers northern Quezon said his office has already alerted the fishermen in their area of jurisdiction to stay away from the sea.

“I also ordered my men to help evacuating residents to higher ground,” Ogorida said.

Source : Inquirer.net