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LRTA assures LRT-2 systems fit for operations

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019

The Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) assures that the LRT-2 systems are fit for operations after sustaining damage from the 6.1 magnitude earthquake.

According to their released statement on Tuesday (April 23), the crack seen in Platform 2 level Westbound at Recto station is not on the main concrete structure.

LRTA Administrator Reynaldo Berroya said an inspection was conducted by the Engineering and Maintenance team. No major damage was found on the LRT-2 structure.

“Rest assured that the LRT-2 structural design was based on the Railway Safety International standard and that a quarterly inspection/monitoring of the structural integrity of the line is dutifully done,” he said. — Aileen Cerrudo

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Probe ordered on LRT-2 train crash

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Monday, May 20th, 2019

Damage from the LRT-2 collision | Photo by Ahya Lopez

MANILA, Philippines – The management of the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) has ordered the creation of a fact-finding committee that will investigate the train crash incident on Saturday (May 18).

More than 30 people were injured on Saturday evening after a train parked on the “pocket track” near Anonas Station moved on its own and headed toward the main railways eastbound to Cubao.

The train’s control center noticed the movement of the parked train and immediately notified the approaching train but it was too late for the latter to make a full stop.

Damage from the LRT-2 collision | Courtesy : LRT2 Facebook page

“For unknown reason, which is still the subject of further investigation through a fact-finding which is being instructed by the administrator, gumalaw ang supposedly na sira na tren,” said DOTr’s Undersecretary for Finance Garry de Guzman.

Operations in LRT Line 2 was temporarily suspended for safety check.

It was mid afternoon the next day, Sunday (May 19) when the LRT-2 services resumed.

The LRTA management and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) assured the public that what happened was an isolated case while measures were being set up to prevent a repeat of the incident in the future.

“Kung mababawasan ang mga tumatakbong LRT (trains), natural may epekto iyan,” Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade noted.

(If running trains will be reduced, that surely has an effect.)

“Pero sa ganyang management, titingnan lahat iyan para nang sa ganoon, ang epekto sa operasyon ay hindi unnecessarily wide and deep,” he added.

(With that kind of management, everything will be assessed so that the effects on the operation will not be unnecessarily wide and deep.)

LRTA is expected to issue an official statement on the exact cause of the incident after its investigation. – Marje Pelayo (with details from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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No Filipinos hurt in Papua New Guinea quake—DFA

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 8th, 2019

Courtesy: USGS

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has reported that no Filipinos were hurt during the magnitude 7.2 earthquake in Papua New Guinea on Tuesday (May 7).

There are approximately 36,000 Filipinos living in Papua New Guinea.

According to the Philippine Embassy in Port Moresby Chargé d’Affaires Mary Grace Villamayor, they are currently coordinating with the Filipino community in the affected cities of Lae and Kokopo.

“The Embassy continuously monitors the situation and stands ready to provide the necessary assistance,” The DFA statement said.

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Comelec prepares contingency plan in case of earthquake during elections

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Tuesday, May 7th, 2019

FILE: PNP National Headquarters participated in the 1st Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) on April 21, 2016. Response and Rescue operations were also done during the activity. (Photo: PNP FB Page)

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has laid out a contingency plan in case of an earthquake or any emergency during the election day on May 13.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) is tasked to make sure that no voters will be left inside the polling precinct in case of an earthquake; while the Board of Election Inspectors are tasked to secure the Vote Counting Machines (VCM) and ballots inside it.

“Ultimately the most important consideration here is the safety of the voting public. And we want to make sure that if there are voting precincts operating in those areas, that they should be safe and that they have not been damaged either by the primary quake or the aftershocks,” Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said.

He added, “If the VCMs cannot be taken out or the VCMs cannot be protected, then the school is locked down.”

The police is also under the instruction to secure the polling place.

READ: Earthquake and other calamities might cause failure of elections—Comelec

For emergency cases like earthquakes and other calamities, Comelec will have to declare a failure of elections. However, this will depend on the severity of its effect in the country.

Meanwhile, Comelec has warned the public not to easily believe posts online such as the viral video that showed pre-shaded ballots.

Jimenez clarified that these ballots are fake, and he refuted the claim of the video uploader that the VCM will read votes detected by UV light.

“Iyong idea na mababasa ng makina iyong UV mark doon sa bilog sa tabi ng pangalan is wrong. Iyong ating scanner ay nagbabasa ng visible marks. Kailangan niyang makita iyong marka. Ang UV mark ay invisible. The fact that some names were supposedly had pre- shaded, pre- shading. Obviously political agenda ang nasa ilalim nito, (The idea that the machine will read UV marks in the circle is wrong. Our scanner reads visible marks. It needs to see the mark. UV marks are invisible. Obviously there is a political agenda under it),” he said.(with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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