Sunday, March 13, 2011

Japan killer earthquake and tsunami nixes Phl recommendation from Legarda and Angara

SENATE OFFICE, Manila, March 14, 2011-In the recent and seventh strongest record of the 8.9 magnitude earthquake that struck Japan and worldwide tsunami warnings, Senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, urged the government for the immediate evaluation of the structural integrity of critical infrastructure in the country while Senator Edgardo J. Angara recommended to fast-track the creation of the Disaster Science and Management Center that will focus drive to achieve a level of national disaster preparedness that would make the country better equipped to face natural calamities.

Legarda said that natural hazards like earth quake and tsunami are inevitable but can be lessened if there is sound preparation and ensure that all structure are safe and not a poor built infrastructure, buildings in inappropriate places, inadequate design and materials specification, and shortcuts in construction; thus, Legarda recommended that the government must ensure that all critical infrastructure, especially bridges, schools, hospitals and other infrastructures are earthquake-proof through the conduct of a nationwide structural evaluation of all schools and hospitals and by retrofitting these structures to allow them to withstand destructive earthquakes.  

“We have to act now and consult structural engineers and asses the vulnerability of structures to strong tremors and to institute immediate measures to strengthen parts that will be found weak to avoid collapse in our homes and offices, shopping malls and public buildings are able to withstand strong earthquakes,” Legarda said, explaining that sound engineering practices is the best protection against earthquakes.

Back to Angara, he said that the creation of Disaster Science Management Center (DSMC) is a project of the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology, and Engineering (COMSTE) primed to become a regional training center for disaster preparedness.

“This will be an innovative center that harnesses the experiences of nations used to deal with disasters and not be the run of the mill, classroom-lecture type of learning like Japan, that will help teach their hard earned lessons to our LGU’s and those of other countries,” Angara said, adding that the DSMC announced that that Sentinel Asia, an international project of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), has appointed Manila Observatory as a Data Analysis Node (DAN).    

To support disaster management in the Asia-Pacific Region by applying and promoting Remote Sensing and WEB-GIS technologies among its partners is the aim of Sentinel Asia while the Manila Observatory (MO) partnered with COMSTE in the planning and development of the DSMC.

The MO has been appointed as a Data Analysis Node, the Manila Observatory will provide analysis and interpretation of satellite data in aid of disaster management in the Philippine’s and the Asia-Pacific Region.

“The availability of satellite data will boost the capabilities of the DSMC to better understand the mechanics of managing disasters with the cooperation of neighboring countries that have experienced similar storms and natural calamities as the Philippines,” Angara said, who chairs of the COMSTE.

He said that MO maintains research programs in Geomatics, Regional Climate Systems, Solid Earth Dynamics, Space Weather and Air Quality while the Observatory promotes the advancement of science-based decision support systems in aid of climate change mitigation, adaptation and disaster risk reduction.

Earlier, a joint research by Columbia University and World Bank entitled ‘Natural Disaster Hotspots: A Global Risk Analysis’, which identifies countries where the Philippines was pegged as one of the riskiest countries in the world for six (6) major natural hazards like earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, floods, drought, and cyclones. (Jason de Asis)

Video Courtesy from Associated Press “Hundreds Killed in Tsunami After 8.9 Japan Quake” March 11, 2011. A ferocious tsunami spawned by one of the largest earthquakes on record slammed Japan's eastern coast Friday, killing hundreds of people as it swept away ships, cars and homes (March 11). (Associated Press)

Angara urged the government for nationwide survival training

SENATE OFFICE, Manila, March 13, 2011-In response to the massive 8.9 magnitude earthquake that struck Japan last Friday which resulted to floods, fires, huge explosions and worldwide tsunamis, Senator Edgardo J. Angara urged the government for a nationwide information campaign and called for survival training for the citizenry on emergency measures and protocols if there were disasters and calamities to prevent.

Angara, chair of the Senate committee on Science and Technology said that Japan has the most advanced technology to safeguard their country but casualties and terrible damages could not be avoided due to the devastated killer earthquake and tsunami strikes where he compared the Philippines is nowhere near as efficient in Japan in case of disaster response, saying that we must be better equipped to face these kinds of natural disasters which we are no strangers to.

Angara said that while the country might not be able to match other countries in terms of technology and equipment, there is a need to take measures to protect the Filipinos as our most valuable resources.

Japan have created disaster proof infrastructure and acquired advanced monitoring equipment that is massive and expensive undertaking which are not economically feasible in the future but the most important is to prepare the general public for these calamities for proper training for search and rescue efforts, educate each and every individual on what to do in case of catastrophe, where to go, what numbers to call, how to establish communication with family, and a basic knowledge of first aid.

The survival training included the preparation of a survival kit, containing basic necessities like non-perishable food, a first-aid kit, batteries and a mini-radio, flashlight, candles and waterproof matches.

The Senator believes that information campaign is needed to teach the public for the survival training and should be launched at the soonest time possible for their safety. (Jason de Asis)

Trillanes meets Samahang Magdalo Luzon chapters in Baguio City

SENATE OFFICE, Manila, March 13, 2011-Senator Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes IV heads the Samahang Magdalo convened Samahang Magdalo Luzon Chapters in its second leg of consultation with members across the country in Baguio City Lion’s Club where at least 20 chapters from Luzon from the provinces of Ilocos, Pangasinan, La Union, Benguet and Baguio.

Just like what happened in Cebu convention, Trillanes said that the convention serves as an avenue to discuss the concerns of the people and identify possible solutions, as well take the opportunity to personally express gratitude to his supporters

Trillanes said that holding public office is not a one-man show. Hence, it has been his personal policy to pursue participative and consultative leadership by maintaining open communication channels to our constituents.

Benguet Gov. Nestor Fongwan, as well as other local government officials, church leaders and the local media also met Trillanes.

Last week, Trillanes was also in Cebu City for the Samahang Magdalo’s first convention, which was attended by at least 18 chapters from the Visayas.

The Samahang Magdalo is a socio-civic organization established on November 28, 2008 by Magdalo, a group of reformist officers and men of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. (Jason de Asis)


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