PHIVOLCS analyzes possible hazards of Bataan Nuclear Power Plant

admin   •   December 7, 2016   •   17000

Bataan Nuclear Power Plant.

Bataan Nuclear Power Plant.

 

Despite the seemingly precarious location of Bataan Nuclear Power Plant at the southwest slope of Mt. Natib, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) said the possibility of another eruption is low.

This is based on the charcoal deposit that they have tested which indicated that the last eruption was 27,000 years ago.

“Nag-try na kaming i-map out ‘yung mga deposito, tiningnan ‘yung mga bata. Masyadong makapal. Lumang-luma ‘yung mga deposito na nakita ng ating mga geologist at kung io-operate ‘yan, kailangang maglagay ka ng mga sensors na pang-monitor ng earthquake activity kung sakali man,” PHIVOLCS Director Renato Solidum said.

(We tried to map out the deposits and our geologists have seen that the deposits are too thick and old and if the [BNPP] will be opened for operation, sensors should be installed to monitor earthquake activity just in case.)

The plant is also less likely to be affected by a tsunami because it is located 18 meters above the shore while the possible height of a tsunami that may hit the area is only up to 8 meters.

PHIVOLCS also found no fault line under the nuclear plant and the nearest is the Iba fault which is 60km away.

But even if this fault will move, including other faults like Manila trench, Philippine fault and West Valley fault, it can withstand the intensity if the plant’s design was strictly followed.

“Assuming na maayos ‘yung pagkagawa ng planta, ‘yung disenyo nga ay mas mataas pa sa inaasahang paglindol,” Solidum said.

(Assuming that the plant is well constructed, it is designed to withstand an expected intensity of a quake.)

Meanwhile, the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) said, it would take 5 years to revive the plant to operating level.

READ: Group fears $1-billion cost to revive Bataan Nuclear Power Plant will be put on consumers’ tab

The PNRI is the regulatory body that will ensure the safety of a nuclear plant’s operation based on set standards.

They said that location and structure are important considerations since its last submitted safety analysis report was way back in the 70’s.

“Acceptable naman ‘yung kanilang study na ‘yun (That study was acceptable). But that was at that time the 1970’s. So, if there is new evidence, there are new studies then we have to look at it,” said PNRI Nuclear Regulatory Division chief Teofilo Leonin, Jr.

The 1990 earthquake did not damage the plant even when Mt. Pinatubo erupted.

Nuclear plants with the same feature as the BNPP are still operating in Korea, Brazil and Yugoslavia. — Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue

Phivolcs downgrades Quezon town quake to magnitude 5.3

Robie de Guzman   •   September 13, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has downgraded the magnitude of an earthquake that hit Burdeos town in Quezon Province to magnitude 5.3 on Friday afternoon.

Phivolcs originally placed the magnitude at 5.5 before eventually revising it to 5.3.

Based on the latest earthquake information posted on Phivolcs website, the tectonic quake struck at 4:28 p.m. with a depth of 62 kilometers. Its epicenter was traced 39 kilometers northeast of Burdeos.

Phivolcs recorded varying quake intensities felt in the following areas:

  • Intensity 5 – Burdeos and Infanta, Quezon; Los Baños and Pakil, Laguna
  • Intensity 4 – Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte; Quezon City; Marikina City; Sta. Cruz, Laguna; Alabat and Gen. Nakar, Quezon
  • Intensity 3 – Guinayangan, Quezon; Muntinlupa City; Manila City; San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan; Bacoor, Cavite; Maddela, Quirino; San Mateo, Rizal; Baler, Aurora; Lucena City
  • Intensity 2 – Dingalan, Aurora; Mandaluyong City; Apalit, Pampanga; Taguig City; Lucban, Quezon
  • Intensity 1 – San Isidro, Nueva Ecija; Gapan City; Meycauayan, Bulacan

Instrumental Intensity were recorded in the following areas:

  • Intensity 5 – Polillo, Quezon
  • Intensity 4 – Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte; Quezon City; Alabat and Mauban, Quezon
  • Intensity 3 – Guinayangan, Quezon; Marikina City; Baler, Aurora; Tagaytay City; Quezon City; Navotas City
  • Intensity 2 – Mulanay, Lucban and Gumaca, Quezon; Malolos and San Ildefonso, Bulacan; Guagua, Pampanga; Las Pinas City; Pasig City; San Juan City; Caloocan City; Malabon City; Muntinlupa City; Calumpit, Bulacan
  • Intensity 1 – Talisay, Batangas; Olongapo City; San Jose, Nueva Ecija

Phivolcs said that due to the magnitude of this quake, the islands of Polillo, Jamalig, and Burdeos may suffer damages.

Aftershocks are also expected and may be felt in areas near the epicenter.

Based on earthquake information posted on Phivolcs website, aftershocks of varying magnitudes have been recorded: magnitude 2.4 at 5:02 p.m., magnitude 4.7 at 5:18 p.m., magnitude 2.9 at 5:20 pm.; and magnitude 1.5 at 6:27 p.m. – All were felt in Burdeos, Quezon.

The temblor caused the temporary suspension of railway services and classes in several schools in Metro Manila.

PHIVOLCS: Damaged structures in Itbayat may have used porous limestone

Marje Pelayo   •   July 31, 2019

Photo by Dominic de Sagon Asa

MANILA, Philippines – The municipality of Itbayat and other island towns in the province of Batanes in Northern Luzon are landmasses that emerged from the ocean, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS).

The area’s soil composition manifests its origin, according to Science and Technology USec. Renato Solidum.

“Doon sa Itbayat ang makikita mong mas maraming bato doon ay limestone (You notice in Itbayat, most of the stones there are limestone),” the PHIVOLCS Director said.

“Ang limestones ay galing sa corals na namuhay sa ilalim ng tubig. Kaya lang napapaangat ito dahil sa pagkilos ng fault, (Limestones are formed from corals on the sea bed. They surface to the ground when the fault moves),” he added.

In July 27, a series of three moderately strong earthquakes rocked the municipality of Itbayat – magnitudes 5.4, 5.9 and 5.8, respectively.

It was in 2015 when Itbayat experienced its latest intensity 5 tremor.

But after 60 or 70 years, it was only on Saturday (July 27) that intensity 6 was again experienced in the area.

According to Solidum, most of the houses or structures suffered damages because the materials used in their constructions were mostly limestone.

Though limestone-based structures could stand strong tropical cyclones, they couldn’t hold strong against earthquakes.

Also, some structures had no steel frames that supposedly add strength and resilience.

“Dahil ang limestone ay madaling matunaw o naaagnas habang tumatagal dahil sa ulan, nagiging marupok ang limestone, (Limestone is a porous material and easily absorbs liquid when drenched in rainwater. Limestone easily breaks),” Usec. Solidum explained.

Limestone was also traced in old churches that were destroyed during a magnitude 7.2 earthquake that struck the province of Bohol in 2013.

Other structures that were damaged also showed traces of limestone that’s why they were not able to stand the strength of the tremors. – (MNP with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Know possible hazards in your area with web app ‘Hazard Hunter’

Marje Pelayo   •   July 16, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Want to know potential hazards within your area?

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) on Tuesday (July 16) launched a web application dubbed as ‘Hazard Hunter’ which provides the public with information on the possible dangers that may happen in a specific area like earthquake, flood or even volcanic eruption.

‘Hazard Hunter’ is a web-based application that can be accessed on desktop, laptop or in smart phones.

To access, just load https://hazardhunter.georisk.gov.ph/ on your web browser.

A welcome message will lead you to the Hazard Hunter official page.

You will be asked to proceed until you see the full map of the Philippines.

Click on the menu bar then several options on the type of hazards that may be present in your area will appear – seismic for earthquakes, volcanic for volcanoes and hydro-meteorological for flood and storm-related hazards.

Click on the type of hazard then select an area by pointing the cursor to the place of inquiry on the map.

Double click on the area of choice.

The system will immediately load the results that will flash on the right side of the screen.

For instance, Baseco compound in Manila has a population of about 60,000 people.

Based on the app’s reading, Baseco is about 12 kilometers away from the West Valley Fault.

Residents in Baseco may feel ground shaking of up to intensity 8 once the West Valley Fault moves in an event called the Big One.

The area is prone to liquefaction and could suffer from up to four-meter-high tsunami as it is near Manila Bay.

Based on the app, Baseco is less likely to be affected if ever the nearest active volcano, Mount Taal in Batangas, erupts.

Taal Lake is about 58 kilometers away from Baseco.

Baseco is a flood-prone area and floodwater can go as high as two meters and can take up to three days to subside.

During the onset of a severe tropical cyclone, the area could suffer from storm surge as high as 4 meters.

But there is no possibility of a landslide in the area.

The app also has detailed recommendations or suggestions for a plan of action during a specific hazard.

Science and Technology Undersecretary and PHIVOLCS OIC Renato Solidum believes ‘Hazard Hunter’ will enable the public to prepare and plan ahead of a natural disaster.

Government agencies will also be guided for appropriate actions to be taken to minimize or prevent the loss of lives and damage to properties.

“Hindi naman masama na may hazards diyan. What is important is that the hazard is recognized so that the developer can develop approaches to lessen the impact, to mitigate the possible impact,” Solidum noted.

Solidum said even his own house sits on a location that is hazard-prone but recognizing the dangers enabled him to plan for his and his family’s protection.

“Tinaasan ko yung bahay. Ginawa kong three floors para hindi ako mamatay sa baha (What I did was I elevated my house. I made it into three floors to keep me safe from the flood),” he said.

“Inayos ko yung foundation ng building para sa shaking ng liquefaction. So mga ganung klaseng real life application magagamit (ang Hazard Hunter) (I aligned the foundation of the building in case of shaking during liquefaction. During those real-life applications, [Hazard Hunter] can be useful),” he added.

Before the end of the year, PHIVOLCS plans to launch the mobile version of the website. – with details from Rey Pelayo

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