Phivolcs app helps review quake risks
CLARK FREEPORT—Want to know if the land, farm, house or building you are buying stands on an earthquake fault? Or how far it is from your place of work, or your kids’ school?
The answers can be found in Phivolcs Fault Finder, an application that will be available next month on mobile telephones.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) is launching the app in time for National Disaster Consciousness Month.
Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum said the app would use three base maps from the National Mapping and Resources Information Authority, Google and OpenStreetMap.
The maps show where the 1,200-kilometer Philippine Fault Zone transects northwestern Luzon to southeastern Mindanao, and the Valley Fault System (VFS) in Luzon, including trenches.
“We have been testing this since last year. A Filipino [technology whiz] working in Japan is among the volunteers [working on this app],” Solidum told members of Capampangan in Media Inc. in a forum on Friday.
Many of these hazard maps are accessible through the Phivolcs website, www.phivolcs.dost.gov.ph. The maps show the Philippine Fault Zone, active faults and trenches, earthquake-induced landslides, and liquefaction and tsunami prone areas.
One of the precautions that homeowners should consider is living away from rupture points at a minimum distance of 5 meters, Solidium said.
Phivolcs maintains 86 stations across the country that monitor earthquakes through sensors using GPS (global positioning system).
Maps on the VFS are helpful because that zone is ripe for movements “in this generation,” Solidum said, referring to the accepted theory that ground faults move every 400 years.
In nationwide earthquake drills, the government works on a scenario where movements along the VFS could trigger a 7.2 magnitude temblor.
The East Valley Fault stretches 10 kilometers in Rizal province while the West Valley Fault runs over more than 100 km through Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite and Laguna province and Metro Manila.
Phivolcs has projected that without interventions and should it strike at night, the Big One could kill 31,000 people and injure 130,000 more in Metro Manila alone.
Angat Dam in Bulacan province is being strengthened for this temblor.
Gladys Sta. Rita, president and chief executive officer of National Power Corp. (Napocor), said Angat Hydropower Corp., owned by San Miguel Corp. and Korea Water Resources Corp., had an operations and management agreement with the government to rehabilitate the dam and its dikes, as it runs the hydroelectric power plant there.
“The dam failure would present considerable risks to life and property downstream, as the contents of Angat Dam reservoir would cause flooding in nearby areas. As such, we at Napocor and partners from the national government continue to take measures to prevent dam failure and keep people in nearby areas safe,” Sta. Rita said last year.
Angat Dam was built in the 1960s to supply water to the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, irrigate 25,000 hectares of farm lands in Bulacan and Pampanga, generate 246 megawatts of power for the Luzon grid, and control flooding. TVJ
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