Phivolcs unveils 6 new earthquake atlases to aid seismic-resilient structural designs


The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Friday, Oct. 22, launched six new earthquake atlases to ensure the seismic resiliency of public infrastructures, medium-to-high rise buildings, and residential houses in key areas in the country.

Science and Technology Undersecretary and Phivolcs OIC Renato Solidum Jr. said the latest Specific Earthquake Project Site Response Atlases were developed for six sites, namely Pangasinan, Tarlac, Metro Iloilo-Guimaras, Cauayan City in Isabela, Butuan City in Agusan del Norte, and Mati City in Davao Oriental.

Solidum explained that the atlases are a detailed compilation of hazard maps depicting the site response and earthquake ground motion levels of the study areas.

The ultimate goal is to increase the seismic resiliency of government infrastructures, residential, and low-to-mid rise buildings located in the city, he added.

"The atlas includes the distribution of active faults and trenches in the study areas from DOST-Phivolcs; geologic map of the study areas from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau; peak ground acceleration map; Vs30 model map; short-period microzonation map; and long-period microzonation map," Solidum said.

These tools provide information to collectively understand the dynamic characteristics of the underlying soil and rock layers affecting the ground motion in the event of an earthquake.

Digital copies of the Site Response Atlases may be downloaded from the Phivolcs' website.

The online event also had lectures to guide users on how to interpret and apply the data presented in the maps, and panel discussions to highlight the importance of regulating building designs based on the observed ground motion for earthquake risk reduction.

Participants include representatives from the local government units of the project sites particularly from the Engineering Offices, Planning and Development Offices, and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Offices, who are target end-users of the atlas for urban planning and building design regulation.

Representatives from the Department of Public Works and Highways, Association of Structural Engineers of the Philippines, Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers, Mines and Geoscience Bureau, academe, and private sectors also attended the event.

The project was funded by the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development.