DAGUPAN CITY-An 8.5 magnitude earthquake emanating from the Manila Trench could generate from 7 to 8-meter high tsunami in Dagupan City.

This was estimated by Dr. Leonila Bautista, an official of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), who was invited as a resource speaker during her weekly executive meeting with department heads called by Mayor Belen Fernandez.

The Manila Trench is a fault line running from north to south some 100 kilometers away into the West Philippine Sea from Bolinao, Pangasinan, west of Dagupan City across the Lingayen Gulf.

Bautista estimated that the tsunami, when it comes will have a width of from five to 10 meters.

She said that Phivolcs has installed a tsunami warning station in Bolinao, which can transmit signals to the tsunami warning station in Dagupan City.

The tsunami, she said, will come 40 minutes after a high-magnitude temblor occurs in mid-sea as a result of the movement of the Manila Trench.<p<>Water generated by tsunami, she said, will follow the river systems, thus people must stay away from rivers even if these are located inland.

At the same time, Bautista confirmed that there is no fault line in Dagupan but the problem here is that its soil is soft and affected by liquefaction

The Phivolcs official suggested the planting of mangroves in the coastal areas to help cushion the impact of the tsunami inland.

Since the tsunami will be from 7 to 8 meters high in Dagupan, Bautista suggested a vertical evacuation for the people, which means they should seek refuge in strong tall buildings.

The officials of the city should see to it that tall buildings will be opened to accommodate people when a big tsunami strikes, she said.

She left to the people of Dagupan City to decide on whether they will still continue with the construction of a man-made tsunami hill in the village of Pugaro and in case they will decide to continue, this must be relocated, strengthened and made higher to ensure it can really save people.

The man-made tsunami hill, whose first phase was the only one completed, it should be designed at only six meters in height and located only 100 meters close to the sea and the mouth of a river.

Mayor Fernandez already phased out the project upon her assumption of office in July and instead, deemed the center of the circular embankment to be just made into a tree park. (PNA)