Phivolcs boosts earthquake monitoring efforts with 100th strong motion station

Published February 23, 2021, 4:12 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Tuesday, Feb. 23 unveiled its 100th strong motion station in Tanay, Rizal in efforts to expand its earthquake monitoring networks in densely populated areas and close to active faults.


The station is part of the Philippine Strong Motion Network (PSMNet), which is one of the key earthquake monitoring networks in the Philippines.

Science and Technology Undersecretary and Phivolcs OIC Renato Solidum said the Tanay strong motion station is equipped with accelerographs that have been strategically located in densely populated areas and near active faults. 

“These instruments are capable of faithfully recording large ground motion during high-magnitude earthquake events,” Solidum said.

He pointed out that data gathered from the PSMNet can be used to provide critical information about the earthquake rupture process; understand the generation and propagation of seismic waves near the source; characterize the type of materials underneath the soil; provide information about site effect and response; and  determine the ground motion effects to buildings and ground failure such as landslides and liquefaction.

“Ito po ay kailangan para maka-disenyo ng tamang building, ng tamang mga gusali at infrastructure in your area (This is necessary to design the right building buildings and infrastructure in your area) so that they will become more earthquake-resistant,” Solidum explained.

“In the case of Phivolcs, this is very important for us because it will provide critical information to determine how the earthquake fault ruptures progress,” he added. 

Moreover, Solidum said such information can be used by the Phivolcs data center for the development of an effective earthquake early warning system, and by the academe and research institutions to further study the physics of strong earthquakes

“These will also be crucial in providing policy recommendations in order to mitigate the potential impacts of an earthquake,” he said.

Solidum noted that the PSMNet project started in 1992 with only four strong-motion instruments within Metro Manila. 

Afterward, Phivolcs, with support from the national government and in collaboration with the Japanese government and academe such as Tokyo Institute of Technology (TITECH), has continuously expanded the network within and outside Metro Manila, to eventually have adequate coverage of the whole Philippines, he also said.

The 100th strong motion station was in partnership with the Tanay municipal government led by Mayor Rex Manuel Tanjuatco.