Volcanic Eruption/Tsunami Warning in Eastern Samar - A Hoax, Said PHIVOLCS

Early this evening, February 5, 2012, there is a text message circulating in Eastern Samar and its nearby provinces about a possible underwater volcanic eruption that may cause a tsunami. The message says "NOTICE: 5:00PM FEB. 5 2012 the underwater volcano in Matarinao, Salcedo Eastern Samar will explode. An expected magnitude intensity higher of 12 will be experienced. Municipality that in sea level area are being adviced to evacuate as early as now for the reason of massive earthquake after shock. Everyone is also adviced to go & stay in open space and higher grounds. The message is from PHIVOLCS who is monitoring the underwater volcano right now in Matarinao, Salcedo, Eastern Samar."

The message was quite alarming yet have to confirm form the concerned agency, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS). I Google and found out that the said text message is a hoax, fake and not true. Read the full news from the Philippine Information Agency below:

Original Post from the Philippine Information Agency:

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, Feb 5, 2012 (PIA) – The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has not issued any warning about volcanic eruption and tsunami occurrence in Eastern Samar, Phivolcs Director Renato Solidom Jr. said.

Solidom made it clear that all official warnings from Phivolcs are coursed through the DRRMCs (disaster risk reduction management councils). “Not true at all. There is no truth that a Phivolcs personnel issued such warning by Phivolcs as all official warnings are coursed through DRRMCs,” Dr. Solidom said.

The Phivolcs chief said that the series of earthquakes beginning the third week of January 2012, the latest significant tremor with magnitude of 5.9  which occurred at 9:09 p.m. of February 4  with epicenters offshore of Eastern Samar and felt in Samar and Leyte islands, are the result of movements of the Philippine Sea Plate moving under the Eastern Philippine Trench.

“These are not caused by volcanic activity,” Dr. Solidom added, saying that there are no underwater volcanoes east of the Samar Island and it is not possible to have volcanoes there.

The pronouncement was elicited when a text message circulated in Eastern Visayas after an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.9 rocked Eastern Samar at 9:09 p.m. of February 4. The hoax, headlined “NOTICE” stated that at " 5:00 p.m. of February 5, the underwater volcano in Matarinao, Salcedo, East Samar will explode with a magnitude intensity of higher than 12 kilometers. It also warned people to evacuate 'as early as now' to open space and higher grounds."

Dr. Solidom said that aftershocks may still happen, although the exact timing cannot be predicted. Most aftershocks are not significant in sizes but stronger ones cannot be discounted, the Phivolcs chief added.

Dr. Solidom called on the public not panic and not to believe in text rumors, more so, spread rumors. He said that the reason why he sent PIA the message is for the Philippine Information Agency to inform the media and the public.

However, Dr. Solidom said that the public should always be reminded that strong earthquakes have happened in the area in the past. Therefore, it is always important that earthquake and tsunami preparedness be conducted by the DRRMCs, local governments, and the public, Dr. Solidom concluded. (PIA 8)

Just recently, 24 Oras also reported about this false information. Confirmed! This was indeed a hoax mail/message doing the  rounds to fool and fear the recipient and the people of Eastern Samar and its nearby provinces.

Again, STOP SENDING if happened to received this form of text message, you are just scaring your friend or love ones if you do.

Reference:  Philippine Information Agency

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