FACT CHECK: No, this is not a genuine tsunami warning issued for PH in April

Agence France-Presse

Posted at May 07 2019 05:45 PM

A photo has been shared thousands of times in Facebook posts published on April 27, 2019 alongside a purported “breaking news” tsunami warning following a major earthquake. 

The claim is false; the photo in the misleading posts shows a storm in Sydney, Australia in 2015; no official tsunami warnings have been issued in the Philippines so far in 2019.

The photo and purported tsunami warning were shared in this Facebook post on April 27, 2019.
Below is a screenshot of the post:

Screenshot of Facebook post

The Tagalog language caption translates to English as: “Lord God! Please don’t let this happen”.

The text above the photo translates to English as: “Tsunami warning issued for the Philippines and Indonesia following a 7.2-magnitude earthquake in the sea of Davao Oriental”.
#PrayForPhilippines

*BREAKING NEWS - Areas which can be possibly hit by the tsunami following a 7.2-magnitude earthquake in the sea of GovGen, Davao Oriental. People living in coastal areas are advised to evacuate*

1). Compostela Valley
2). Davao Del Norte
3). Davao del Sur
4). Davao Oriental
5). Davao City
6). Sarangani
7). South Cotabato
8). Agusan del Norte
9). Agusan del Sur
10). Surigao del Norte
11). Surigao del Sur
“Please Share this immediately so everyone will be on alert and let's include prayers to this.”

The places listed in the misleading post are located in the southern Philippines.

The same photo was shared on Facebook here on April 27, 2019, with a similar claim.

The claim is false; no official tsunami warnings have been issued in the Philippines so far in 2019.

The last time actual alerts were issued over a 7.2 magnitude earthquake and a tsunami that could affect the Philippines and Indonesia was in December 2018.

Here is the December 29, 2018 earthquake alert issued by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, and here is an alert for a tsunami issued by the Global Disaster Alerting Coordination System in connection with the same quake.

For 2019, this is a log of official tsunami warnings published by the government seismologists at the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).

Below is a screenshot of the Phivolcs report:

Screenshot of log

The misleading Facebook posts also claim there was a 7.2-magnitude earthquake in the sea of Davao Oriental immediately before the purported tsunami warning was issued.

This Phivolcs log of earthquakes in the Philippines does not show any record of a 7.2- magnitude earthquake on April 27, 2019.

The photo in the misleading posts actually shows a weather event in Australia in November 2015.

By conducting keyword searches and a reverse image search on Google for the photo in the misleading posts, AFP found this Facebook post.

It was published on the Facebook page for Sydney based photographer Richard Hirst on November 6, 2015.

Below is the post:

 

The caption states: “PRINT OFFER - thank you for the amazing response from all over the world to this photograph of an epic display of mother nature. Due to the overwhelming number of requests for prints I am doing a limited run of large prints (60x40cm) on premium metallic paper at A$145, with free delivery anywhere in the world. To reserve one, please email me at info@hirsty.com.au.

“It is shot from the Harbour Bridge looking towards Bondi Beach. Cheers Hirsty.”

The photo was published on Facebook on the same day that severe storms hit Sydney. This article published on November 6, 2015, by Australia’s Daily Telegraph, reports on the storms.