Sunday, May 22, 2011
SENATE OFFICE, Manila, May 23, 2011-Senator Edgardo J. Angara, chairman of the Congressional Commission on Science Technology and Engineering (COMSTE) revealed that the government’s disaster management center (DSMC) is adopting US technology which will help to mitigate and to cushion the impact of a powerful earthquake by monitoring ground motions.
Angara said that in the event of a powerful earthquake, the new technology will be useful in Metro Manila where 17% of buildings will be heavily damaged and 32.5% partially damaged according to the report.
“To better prepare the country for earthquakes and similar disasters, Angara said that with that kind of game changing technology the DSMC will be useful to utilize disaster mitigation where the COMSTE is now partnered with the Manila Observatory in developing the capabilities of the DSMC.
The commission has a Metro Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study (MMEIRS), a joint study that was undertaken by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to create an earthquake scenario damage map of Metro Manila.
A study revealed that when a 7.8 magnitude earthquake scenario hitting the city, around 8,918 or 17% of all the buildings will be heavily damaged while around 16,374 (32.5%) will be partly damaged. Expected casualties can rise to 12,000 individuals while 4,000 will be injured. The fire damage in this scenario can cover 116 hectares with 49,000 buildings projected to be burnt down affecting 1,600 people.
Angara said the center will evolve into a training center that will focus on scenario-type learning utilizing technology for disaster mitigation and management where Taiwan and Japan are already actively cooperating with training of local experts for situations like floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis.
Angara said that the USGS uses this new technology, called NetQuakes, to better measure seismographic data where the units are installed in homes, public buildings, offices or schools and use wifi or local networks to transmit data via the internet to USGS stations, explaining that the data is measured and used to calculate post-earthquake damage estimates and to develop better engineering standards.
He furthered that the COMSTE is partnered with the Manila Observatory in developing the capabilities of the DSMC. The DSMC is also in possession of the Metro
Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study (MMEIRS). The MMEIRS is a joint study that was undertaken by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to create an earthquake scenario damage map of Metro Manila.
Angara noted that the DSMC is needed to help us prepare for the earthquakes and similar disasters that will continue to threaten the country. The government needs to be able to understand how to develop an advanced and real-time information dissemination strategy so people can better prepare to handle such events. (Jason de Asis)
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