‘Hi-tech’ Phivolcs

DIRECTOR Renato Solidum of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) is boasting his agency has gone “hi-tech” that it can now effectively detect and determine local earthquake parameters which can largely help in issuing warnings to the public about the imminent dangers.

This was made possible through a simulation or computer model called the Rapid Earthquake Damage Assessment System software which the Phivolcs and its mother agency, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), have created extensively and exclusively for the purpose.

Through this software, according to the Phivolcs chief, they can easily detect the presence of liquefaction on the soil, landslide or even soil erosion at a particular place while an earthquake is taking place at any intensity rate.

With its Geographic Information System, the software is installed free of charge to the various concerned organizations and at least 20 provincial governments all over the country. Chief Solidum says it was part of the expanded program of the administration of PNoy about disaster and risk reduction and mitigation.

He told a recent forum hosted by the Philippine Information Agency that with the software they can even make evaluation of earthquakes outside of the country.

“Installation of new sensors and software has enabled us to not only observe the data in real time at our local volcano observatories but also in the main office and anywhere we go by tapping local servers hosting information in the real time,” he  points out.

Determined to transform his agency to be at its best in providing the much-needed and timely information before a natural calamity takes place, Mr.

Solidum reveals plans to add more out of its present 66 seismic monitoring stations with “unmanned” and “hi-tech” facilities that will automatically feed data via satellite as to the presence of any soil movement in any place of the world.

Of course, it would be now much easier for Phivolcs to monitor from its main office in Quezon City through its modern technology and instruments the movements of any volcano in the country specifically Taal and Mayon Volcanoes, the Phivolcs chief says.

Within the year, the agency is expected to complete the setting up of community-based early warning system for tsunami that will give warning about the approaching huge waves five days before they hit the shore.

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