In the Know: Areas within 14KM permanent danger zone and 20KM extended danger zone

Maris Federez   •   January 16, 2020   •   6049

MANILA, Philippines — Authorities have been appealing to the public not to enter the areas considered to be within the 14-kilometer and 20-kilometer danger zones surrounding the Taal Volcano.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) noted that Taal Volcano has caused more than 500 tremors since its phreatic explosion last Sunday.

Phivolcs added that the fissures seen on the ground near the volcano; the drying up of the lake and the swelling of the volcanic crater, are signs of an imminent major explosive eruption.

The alert level 4 is still raised over Taal Volcano which prompted authorities to enforce the 14-kilometer permanent danger zone and the 20-kilometer extended danger zone.

Local governments within these zones must implement total evacuation.

Areas within the 14-kilometer-radius danger zone include the towns of Agoncillo, San Nicolas, Talisay, Balete, and Mataas na Kahoy; parts of Lemery, Laurel, Tagaytay City, Tanauan City, and Cuenca; and some barangays in the towns of Taal, Sta. Teresita, Alitagtag, San Jose, Lipa City, and Malvar.

To date, several towns in Batangas, such as Agoncillo, San Nicolas, Talisay, Taal, and Laurel are locked down.

Meanwhile, areas within the 20-kilometer-radius extended danger zone include Tagaytay City, Tanauan City, Malvar, Alitagtag, Sta. Teresita, Taal, Lemery, and Mendez; parts of Indang, Alfonso, Amadeo, and Silang in Cavite; as well as Calamba City in Laguna, Sto. Tomas, Malvar, Lipa City, San Jose, San Pascual, Bauan, San Luis, Calaca, Balayan, and Nasugbu in Batangas.

Based on the hazard map issued by Phivolcs, a base surge might happen following a major eruption.

Phivolcs said the intensity of the heat from the steam and ash brought about by the base surge will cause the temperature to rise to up to 1,000˚Celsius.

The areas that may be affected by the base surge include the towns of Talisay, San Nicolas, Laurel, Agoncillo, Lemery, Taal, Sta. Teresita, and Tanauan City; as well as some parts of Alitagtag, Cuenca, Mataas na Kahoy, Balete and Lipa City.

On the other hand, the ballistic projectile or areas that can be reached by rocks or boulders that Taal Volcano might spew in case of a major explosion include the towns of Talisay, San Nicolas, Agoncillo, and Lemery.

The explosion could also cause a tsunami in the lake which might affect the surrounding communities.

Authorities appealed to the public for cooperation and to refrain from going back to restricted areas until the volcanic activities have subsided. — (from the report of Bernard Dadis) /mbmf

Phivolcs sees geohazard, flooding risks in Bulacan Airport

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 25, 2020

The project site of the proposed New Manila International Airport in Bulacan has geohazard risks, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).

The multi-billion airport is sitting on soft ground and its location is prone to frequent flooding, according to Phivolcs Usec. Renato Solidum.

“Just to be very specific on the facts is that it is far away from the fault. But since it’s underlain by sand with a shallow water table, it’s prone to strong ground shaking and liquefaction,” he said.

Solidum said they conducted an assessment to ensure the safety of the community as well as to protect investments. He recommended making buildings and infrastructure resilient to hazards.

“Dapat iyong building mo ay maayos ang disenyo na maging stable siya habang lumilindol at hindi siya tumagilid. Or pwede mo ring patibayan ang lupa. Bawasan mo iyong tubig, palitan mo iyong lupa, (The building should have a proper design for it to be stable during earthquakes. The ground can also be strengthen by reducing its water content or replacing the soil),” he added.

Meanwhile, San Miguel Holdings Corporation (SMC) said they have been taking into account the risks in designing the P740 billion domestic and international airport in Bulacan. The SMC also assured they have studied the project, including its feasibility, and all possible risks.

“The airport’s design fully takes this into account and we have actually started implementing sustainable measures to address flooding in Bulacan that has existed for several decades and has been made worse by clogged waterways and drainages,” according to SMC.

The corporation also tapped three major global airport construction firms to ensure the airport is resilient, sustainable, and will provide the best benefits for all Filipinos. AAC (with reports from Vincent Arboleda)

Magnitude 6.4 rocks Davao Occidental

Maris Federez   •   September 7, 2020

A magnitude 6.4 earthquake shook Davao Occidental at around 11:23 in the evening of Sunday, Sept. 6.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the tremor was located east of Don Marcelino in Davao Occidental with a depth of 149 kilometers.

The quake was tectonic in origin.

Phivolcs is yet to report initial damage, although it warned of aftershocks in the affected areas. —/mbmf

PHIVOLCS reminds public to prepare for potential hazards amid COVID-19 pandemic

Marje Pelayo   •   July 29, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Earthquake drills have been suspended since the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) occupied the government in the past months. 

The National Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) acknowledges the risk of COVID-19 transmission if people engage in drills.

“Delikado pa kasi iyan ngayong may pandemya pa, (That is risky given that we are in the midst of a pandemic),” explained the agency’s spokesperson Mark Timbal.

Timbal said they can still resume as soon as a vaccine for COVID-19 is discovered.

“I believe that we will resume the drills once both an effective treatment program as well as an immunization/vaccine is already available,” he added.

Despite the suspension of the drills, the agency said the public gets the information it needs through the local government units through constant information campaigns about disasters and diseases, specifically health protocols in evacuation centers, wearing face mask, using personal protective equipment and practicing social distancing.

The NDRRMC also conducts online training for that matter. 

But for the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), it is still important to always prepare for potential disasters like earthquakes, typhoons and serious floodings even in the midst of a pandemic.

Science and Technology Undersecretary and PHIVOLCS OIC Renator Solidum assured that the agency is constantly conducting online seminars among LGUs and assessing the possible impact of disasters like earthquakes in their respective areas.

PHIVOLCS encourages every member of the family to discuss preparations amongst themselves as to what they will do in case of a serious earthquake like where they could possibly go to be safe. 

Each family also needs to have an emergency kit in place complete with face masks, alcohol or sanitizer.

In the past many large scale disasters minsan merong mga natataong mga pandemic. Mahirap iyon kung hindi handa sa pareho, [In the past, there were large scale disasters that happened along with a pandemic. It’s difficult to be in both situations unprepared,]” Solidum explained.

“We should prepared for both, not only for COVID-19 but also other possible large-scale hazards,” he added.

PHIVOLCS has created applications which can be checked for potential hazards in a specific area and these applications can be accessed through the Georisk Philippines website. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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