MANILA, Philippines — At least 700 families were evacuated as a precaution after the powerful earthquake struck waters near Taiwan, prompting tsunami warnings.

The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) said on Thursday that a total of 709 families were evacuated in the Ilocos region and Cagayan Valley regions, while the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) lifted the tsunami warning shortly after the big earthquake on Wednesday morning. .

In the towns of Pancian and Pagudpud in Ilocos Norte alone, 20 families were taken to safety, according to the OCD, while 109 families, including 71 in Sanchez Mira and 38 in the towns of Ballesteros in Cagayan; and 580 families, including 551 in Divilacan, 18 in Maconacon and 11 in Dinapigue, in the province of Isabela, were also taken to safer locations.

Evacuees returned to their homes after Phivolcs lifted tsunami warnings a few hours later, as the state seismologist did not monitor any significant sea level tremors due to the 7.2 magnitude earthquake near Taiwan.

People evacuated from their homes sit outside the shelter after the major earthquake in the city of Hualien, eastern Taiwan, on the morning of Thursday, April 4, 2024. The strongest earthquake in a quarter of a century shook Taiwan during the morning rush hour. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

Meanwhile, Manila Economic and Cultural Office (Meco) President Silvestre Bello III said on Thursday that three Filipinos were injured of the earthquake.

According to Bello, among the injured was an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) named Sylvia, who had a swollen hand.

“Among our compatriots, there are three who are considered victims, but only have minor injuries (Among our compatriots, there are three who are considered victims, but only have minor injuries)”, he said in an interview with Radyo 630.

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