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Uneasy night for residents of Eastern Samar affected by Philippines quake
A 7.6-magnitude earthquake hit the Pacific villages of Salcedo, Eastern Samar, in the Philippines at around 8.50 pm last night, triggering a series of 3 0.80-meter high waves just minutes after the tremor was felt. A tsunami warning was announced and later lifted.
Local authorities called for residents to head to higher ground and designated an evacuation area immediately after the quake.
The warning created panic among residents who began running for higher ground. Children were crying and elders complained of back pain after climbing up the hilly grounds. Other residents stayed in a school campus ready for evacuation.
Community volunteers were on red alert monitoring changes in ocean behaviour that might lead to a tsunami.
The absence of any update from the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction for almost 30 minutes worried many people.
“We feel isolated. There is no celphone signal to contact our relatives,” said Aurora Corre, a community volunteer.
After 1 am, as the tsunami alert was lifted by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, residents began leaving the evacuation area to return home with their children.
There was slight damage to some buildings in Burak, but injuries or fatalities were reported. Plan-sponsored children and families in the area were all are safe.
Though there appeared to be no significant physical damage, most people in the community were unable to sleep well for fear of aftershocks.