5.5 magnitude quake jolts Surigao del Sur

Maris Federez   •   July 13, 2019   •   1528

A magnitude 5.5 earthquake jolted Surigao del Sur and its neighboring provinces early morning Saturday, July 13.

According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), the earthquake, recorded at 4:42 a.m., was tectonic in origin and had a depth of 5 kilometers.

The epicenter was located at 8 kilometers Northwest of Cortes town.

Intensity IV was recorded in Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental;
Intensity II in Cebu City and Borongan City; and Intensity I – Bislig City and Cagayan de Oro City.

Authorities are still searching thru the affected areas to estimate the total damage and casualties brought by the quake.

Pinoy invents device that measures building’s structural integrity

Marje Pelayo   •   August 23, 2019

Dr. Francis Aldrine-Uy

MANILA, Philippines – The stability of a structure is best tested during strong earthquakes.

However, inspections usually take days to determine if a building has damage or if it can be declared safe to use.

To help in the process, a Filipino inventor has created a device which can be installed to a structure to measure its strength.

It is called the universal structural health evaluation and recording system (USHER).

Universal structural health evaluation and recording system (USHER).

Dr. Francis Aldrine-Uy said with the device, a building’s structural condition can be assessed just a few hours after an earthquake.

The local government units (LGUs), meanwhile, can immediately direct orders even to the most affected areas right after the device’s assessment is seen.

“Makikita na natin kung nakapula yung mga building na iyon, ibig sabihin nag-suffer ng structural damage ang mga building na iyon after an earthquake (We can see if the buildings are in color red, it means that the building suffered structural damage after the earthquake,)” explained Dr. Uy, the President and CEO of USHER, the inventor of the device.

“Doon po natin i-concentrate ang tulong o ang response na pwede nating madala doon, (That’s where we may concentrate our response,)” he added.

The invention, which is in cooperation with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), can be installed in public facilities like bridges and railways of MRT and LRT.

The device can also measure the degree of intensity when an earthquake strikes.

Regarding the price, Uy said it is way cheaper than those made abroad.

“It could be at least 50% lower in cost,” Dr. Uy said.

“And of course, it will be more sustainable dahil nga ito ay gawang Pinoy at dito natin mina-manufacture (because it’s Filipino made and is locally manufactured),” he added.

Dr. Uy said the instrument can help in mitigating the impact of a strong quake like ‘the Big One’ which is expected to cause massive damages and loss of thousands of lives. – MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Woman nabbed in Surigao del Sur for exploiting daughter, sisters online

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 17, 2019

The Women and Children Protection Center–Mindanao Field Unit (WCPC-MFU) has arrested a 22-year-old woman exploiting her younger sisters and daughter in online trafficking.

There were reports about the suspect’s illegal online activities last February this year which prompted an investigation by the authorities.

The WCPC-MFU was granted a warrant by the court to search the suspect’s electronic devices for evidence of online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC). The suspect’s identity was not disclosed for the safety of the victims.

Investigation showed the suspect offered to sexually abuse her sisters and daughter and livestream it in exchange for money.

Authorities rescued the suspect’s sisters aged 13 and 15 and her 4-year-old daughter from their home in Barobo, Surigao del Sur on Friday (Aug 16).

Chief of WCPC-MFU Col. Christine Tan reiterates their continuous effort to stop the exploitation of children online.

“To those who are doing this crime or have plans to do it for easy money, you cannot hide. We know how to get you,” she said.

The victims are currently in the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). The suspect will be charged with violation of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act or Republic Act 9208 (as amended by RA 10364), among other violations. —AAC

Photographers launch ‘Bayanihan para sa Batanes’ to help quake victims

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 2, 2019

Breathtaking rolling hills of Batanes | Photo by Freician Cantero

The spirit of bayanihan has proven itself timeless.

In the digital age, a group of photographers has gathered together to launch ‘Bayanihan para sa Batanes’.

READ: Congressmen to donate part of their salaries for Batanes quake victims

In their Facebook page, they put up their works for sale. All the proceeds will go to the victims of the Itbayat earthquake. 

Like a digital art gallery, the Facebook page of Bayanihan para sa Batanes is filled with moments — moments of nature, of people captured in the eyes of various photographers.

According to one of the photographers, RA Valderama, it all started with a group of friends who dearly love Batanes.

“It started by just selling a few photos, and calling attention of other photographers who want to help as well in this advocacy” he said.

Bayanihan has also proven itself limitless, it is not just about neighbors helping neighbors. According to Valderama, more than a dozen photographers across the country have submitted their works for the campaign.

“Before we know it we are almost 50 in number,” he said.

The spirit of bayanihan today goes beyond the willingness to share your physical strength. For these photographers as long as they can, they will.

Valderama said they are still open for more photographers.

“We still accept photographers who want to share their art and help this cause,” he said.—AAC

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