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The Mountain of Blue Fire

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Villagers salvage what is left of their houses Wednesday Nov. 28, 2007, along the coast in Zamboanga city in southern Philippines, after big waves spawned by Typhoon Mitag slammed coastal villages overnight leaving hundreds of families homeless and sending more than 5,000 people fleeing, some falsely thinking there was a tsunami, officials said Wednesday. (AP)

From Ilocos Norte to Jolo, huge waves swamped coastal areas across the country Tuesday night, leaving at least four people dead and sending into panic about 5,000 residents. Authorities are still trying to find an explanation for the big waves that struck, following several typhoons and a powerful earthquake. On the entire western coast of Luzon, which was also jolted by a magnitude-6 earthquake past noon Tuesday, more than 5,400 people fled to safety and government emergency shelters after their communities were swamped. Local officials were urged to continue monitoring their coastal areas and carry out “preemptive evacuations” if there was a resurgence in big waves.

The strong waves last Tuesday
destroyed about 70 percent of the picnic sheds at the Tondaligan beach in Bonuan Gueset. The rusty roofing of nine units at Gawad Kalinga Bangus Ville also collapsed. Twenty-five fish pens at the Pantal River's delta in Sitio Sabangan, Bonuan Gueset side were washed out. A fish pen in Bonuan Binloc was also wiped out. About 110 families (557 persons) were evacuated to different evacuation centers. The Barangay Bonuan Gueset chairman said it was THE WORST INCIDENT THEY HAD EXPERIENCED. "Not even the strongest typhoons in the past did cause such strong waves."
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