The municipal hall building of Roxas in northern Palawan. (Photo by Doven Louie Lagrosa)

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) has ruled out the possibility of a tsunami following a magnitude 4.7 earthquake that struck near Roxas, Palawan, around 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 11th.

PHIVOLCS station officer-in-charge for Palawan, Engr. Robert Esplida, told Palawan News that despite the significant magnitude of the earthquake, it’s not sufficient to cause such a phenomenon.

He also stressed that no damage or aftershocks are expected given the offshore location of the epicenter.

“Yung ganitong kalakas hindi magki-create ng tsunami,” he said.

“Kasi nasa dagat naman siya, wala namang ineexpect na damage or aftershocks,” he added.

Esplida noted, however, that the earthquake, which was felt by residents in Roxas, particularly those whose home stand on softer soils, is the strongest recorded by their station in the province.

“Regarding whether Palawan can still be considered earthquake-free, Esplida stated that further studies on the matter are still needed.

“Hindi pa namin masabi kasi first time ito na nangyari yung offshore na medyo malakas. Kasi previously instrumentally ang narerecord namin ay mabababa lang ang magnitude sa mga karagatan ng Palawan. This the first time na ganito kalakas na magnitude na narecord ang PHIVOLCS so aaralin pa namin,” he said.

The quake’s epicenter was located at 09.48°N, 119.66°E, approximately 99 kilometers south-southeast of Roxas. The earthquake had a depth of focus of 15 kilometers and was tectonic in origin.

PHIVOLCS reported that the earthquake resulted from the movement of tectonic plates beneath the ocean.

“Ito yung mga paggalaw ng mga trenches sa ilalim. Yung pagbabanggaan ng mga tectonic plate na nagki-create ng pressure. Yung pagbabanggan ng mga plate natin nagki-create ng earthquake,” Espilida explained.

PHIVOLCS continues to monitor the situation and will provide further updates as necessary.

Palawan Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) chief Jerry Alili confirmed to Palawan News that residents from Barangay Caramay in Roxas, Barangay Port Barton in San Vicente, as well as in Araceli and Cuyo towns, indeed felt the ground moving beneath their feet.

“May mga nakaramdam sa Port Barton, San Vicente, tapos sa Caramay at sa bayan mismo may mga nakaramdam doon, areas din ng Araceli may mga nakaramdam at saka Cuyo,” he said.

“Segundo lang may mga nakaramdam pero ‘yong iba ay ‘yong biglang gumalaw ang mesa. Nag-conduct na ng assessment ‘yong Roxas, so far wala pa naman silang naitalang report ng mga damage,” he added.

Palawan News has also received reports that employees at the Roxas municipal hall building evacuated outside upon feeling the earth move. No one was reported hurt. (with a report from R. Rodriguez)