A tsunami caused by a magnitude 8.9 earthquake in Japan has entered Philippine territory threatening coastal communities in 19 northeast and eastern provinces.
Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) Director Renato Solidum said the tsunami or series of waves dissipated in strength as it crossed the Pacific towards the Philippines.
He said the waves could rise to up to a meter or less, and would hit Philippine eastern shorelines between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.
"May ugong yan at malakas ang current. Along the shoreline, mayroong current. Kapag may ilog, pumapasok sa ilog," Solidum told reporters.
He added: "The stronger waves are going to Hawaii. We are on the side but we will still be hit. Definitely, the wave is coming here."
Solidum reminded the public to steer clear of the eastern coastline of the country until Phivolcs gives the all-clear. He said the tsunami reached 53 centimeters when it hit Taiwan.
Malacañang earlier ordered the mandatory evacuation of residents in coastal areas in 19 provinces expected to be affected by tsunami waves.
The 19 provinces under Tsunami Alert Level 2 are:
- Ilocos Norte
- Camarines Norte
- Camarines Sur
- Northern Samar
- Eastern Samar
- Southern Leyte
- Surigao del Norte
- Surigao del Sur
- Davao Oriental
- Davao del Sur