Indonesia monitoring Phillipines earthquake impact

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian government is monitoring the potential impact of the 7.2-magnitude earthquake which shook the Philippines on Tuesday morning, triggering a tsunami warning.

"Shortly after the Philippines earthquake, the Pacific Disaster Center Command Post issued a tsunami warning which was received by the National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB)," said the agency`s Head of Data Information and Public Relations center, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, in Jakarta on Tuesday.

Sutopo said estimates of the time at which the tsunami is expected to hit and its extent have been issued. Some areas in the Philippines continue to be on standby for a possible tsunami strike.

"Likewise, a number of areas in Indonesia which are located adjacent to the Philippines are also on standby on fears of a tsunami threat to Indonesia," he said.

Areas facing a tsunami threat include Manado, Patani, Sorong, Tarakan, and Jayapura in Northern Indonesia. These areas were predicted to feel the impact three to four hours after the Philippines earthquake.

"It is estimated that the tsunami waves reaching Indonesia will not be too high. Communities are encouraged to remain calm and not panic. (People must) steer clear of marine and coastal activities. We will continue to give out information depending on the prevailing conditions," he said.

At 7:12 pm on Tuesday, an earthquake of 7.2-magnitude occurred just five kilometers from east Balilihan or 21 kilometers from southeast Tibigan in Central Visayas Region of the Phillippines. The quake struck at a depth of ten kilometers, which is considered shallow.

Another source said the depth of the earthquake at its epicenter in mainland Bohol Island was 56 kilometers. A very strong quake, measuring MMI VII in intensity, occurred in the cities of San Isidro, Danao, Loay, San Pascual, Jandayan, and San Agustin.

A quake of V - VI MMI intensity, which is considered moderate to strong, occurred in Cebu City, Cagayan de Oro, Cotabato, and Iloil.

These cities are located in Bohol, Cebu Island, Negros Island, Leyte Island, and the northern part of the Mindanao Island.

The population in these cities is pegged at 4.59 million.