Tsunami 101: How Asia Is Prepping for the Waves

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REUTERS / Kyodo

A building burns after an earthquake in the Odaiba district of Tokyo Japan March 11, 2011. A massive 8.9 magnitude quake hit northeast Japan on Friday, causing many injuries, fires and a four-metre (13-ft) tsunami along parts of the country's coastline.

After an 8.8-magnitude earthquake threw Japan off kilter Friday, prompting a watery surge that has engulfed the country’s northeast, tsunami warnings have been issued in abundance. What are countries in the waves’ path doing to prepare?

Philippines: Authorities at the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology estimate that the first tsunami waves will reach the Philippines between 5pm and 7pm local time. Its director, Renato Solidum, has advised residents of coastal areas to evacuate and move to higher ground. The Philippine Coast Guard has alerted its operatives and—according to its chief, Wilfredo Tamayo—has put rescue teams across the Philippines on standby. Vessels have been asked not to sail. ABS-CBN News reports that police officers are making the rounds to schools in Batanes, the country’s northernmost province, to aid children and teachers.

(More on TIME.com: See pictures of the calamity of Japan’s quake)

Guam: Waves could hit this Pacific island as early as 7:09pm according to a press release from its Department of Homeland Security and Civil Defense. Residents and tourists have been advised to evacuate low-laying, coastal zones and proceed to areas at least 50ft. above sea level and 100 ft. inland. The governor’s office reports that all public beaches have been closed. Homeland Security has asked that all hotels and apartment buildings in the city of Tumon, the center of Guam’s tourism industry, clear their bottom five floors of guests/tenants.

Taiwan: The country’s Central Weather Bureau has warned that the waves will reach Hualien and Taitung on the island’s east coast at 09:32 GMT and 09:36 GMT, respectively, and the northeastern port of Keelung at 10:04 GMT. Though it is projected that the wave will be 50 centimeters (about 20 inches) high and have minimal impact on the coast, residents are being urged to take precautions. Schools and offices are closed in Keelung city, Taitung county, Hualien county, Yilan county and some coastal districts in New Taipei city.

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