Phivolcs says it is more prepared now for earthquakes

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said that its preparedness for major earthquakes has improved since the 1990 Luzon quake.


"Ang ating paghahanda sa lindol magmula nung nangyari yung 1990 Luzon earthquake ay nag-improve na .(The preparedness on earthquake has improved since the 1990 Luzon earthquake happened)," Phivolcs officer-in-charge director Renato Solidum Jr., said on Wednesday. 

However, due to the increasing number of population as well as infrastructures in cities and provinces, Solidum said preparedness of some local government units on disasters such as earthquakes is being left behind. 

"Minsan ang mga plano ng ilang mga siyudad ay napakabilis at hindi sumasabay sa dapat paghahanda sa malalaking panganib tulad ng malalakas na lindol. Itong advocacy na ito ay dapat paigtingin pa. (There are some cities that are very swift in planning and forgot to coincide with the necessary preparedness for major disasters such as strong earthquakes. The advocacy on disaster preparedness should be intensified further)," he said. 

Solidum added that local government units should also focus on old and non-engineered buildings in their areas as they are at risk from a major earthquake.

"Sa mga urban areas like Greater Manila Area na sentro ng governance, yung pisikal na pinsala ng malakas na lindol ay may mas malaking epekto at ang long-term effect nito pati sa ekonomiya at governance ay napakatindi kaya dapat ay paghandaan ito," he added.

(In urban areas like Greater Manila area which is the center of governance, the physical damage of a strong earthquake has a great impact and its long-term effect on the economy and governance is also very strong so everyone should be prepared.)

For the part of Phivolcs, Solidum shared that they have already taken steps to continuously monitor tremors happening in the country such as the installation of additional earthquake monitoring stations.

"Mayroon na tayong 104 earthquake monitoring stations sa ngayon na dati ay 12 lamang after the 1990 earthquake. (We already have 104 earthquake monitoring stations from the 12 stations we had previously after the 1990 earthquake)," he said.

Aside from this, Solidum added that the state seismology bureau has also ramped up efforts in monitoring earthquake-induced disasters such as setting up of tsunami detection system.

The Phivolcs chief said they are also continuously crafting information materials for the public to know more about these disasters including the location of the fault, as well as the areas prone to strong shaking.

Solidum also mentioned that the agency is set to release on Thursday another application that could help LGUs and those from the private sector in planning their infrastructures far from quake-prone areas.