Phivolcs raises earthquake magnitude to 6.1

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 22, 2019   •   3166

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has raised the earthquake magnitude to 6.1. This was after a strong earthquake rocked several areas in Luzon on Monday (April 22).

In its updated bulletin, Phivolcs reported a 6.1 magnitude earthquake with a 12-kilometer depth. Its epicenter is located in Castillejos, Zambales.

Other reported intensities include:

Intensity V -San Felipe, Zambales; Malolos and Obando, Bulacan; Quezon City; Lipa, Batangas; 
Manila City; Abucay, Bataan; Valenzuela City; Magalang, Pampanga

Intensity IV – Pasig City; Makati City; Caloocan City; Meycauayan and San Jose Del Monte, 
Bulacan; Floridablanca, Pampanga; Villasis, Pangasinan; Tagaytay City; Villasis, Pangasinan; 
Baguio City; Marikina City; Las Pinas City

Intensity III – Dasmarinas, Indang and Gen. Trias, Cavite; Lucban, Quezon; Muntinlupa City, 
Cabanatuan City; Palayan City; Gapan City; Santo Domingo and Talavera, Nueva Ecija

Intensity II – Baler, Aurora

Instrumental Intensities:

Intensity V – Angeles City; Malolos, Bulacan;

Intensity IV – Quezon City; San Juan City; Pasig City; Muntinlupa City; Gapan City; Cabanatuan 
City; Tagaytay City; San Ildefonso, Bulacan

Intensity III – Mauban, Quezon; Talisay, Batangas; Guagua, Pampanga; Olongapo City

Intensity II – Lucena City; Dolores and Lucban, Quezon; Dagupan City; Daet, Camarines Norte

Intensity I – Guinayangan, Quezon; Calatagan, Batangas; Magalang, Pampanga; Sinait, Ilocos Sur.

Phivolcs also reported possible aftershocks.

Meanwhile, LRT-1, LRT-2, and MRT-3 suspended their operations due to the recent earthquake.

-Aillen Cerrudo

DOTr: No fare hike amid system rehab of MRT Line 3

Marje Pelayo   •   August 15, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) maintains that minimum fare in MRT Line 3 will remain despite the ongoing rehabilitation works on the train system.

According to Transport Undersecretary Timothy John Batan, unless commuters experience full convenience and observe significant improvements in the MRT Line 3 system, there is no reason for any fare increase.

Meanwhile, the Department is expected to achieve its target train speed of 60 km. and the completion of its rehabilitation efforts including the replacement of new rail tracks and the addition of new train coaches by the year 2021.

Once completed, the MRT Line 3’s full operation is expected to accommodate up to 600,000 passengers every day. – MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

DOTr targets partial operation of MRT-7 in 2021

Marje Pelayo   •   July 17, 2019

Proposed MRT 7 train

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is targeting the partial operation of MRT-7 in 2021.

DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan said the project will definitely ease the burden of commuters as travel time from Quezon City to San Jose del Monte in Bulacan will reduce significantly from four hours to about 35 minutes once the project is completed.

On Wednesday (July 17), Batan and DOTr officials inspected MRT-7’s construction site in Quezon City to check the work in progress.

According to the project’s contractor San Miguel Corporation, the ongoing construction is already 44% complete which includes the train stations, platforms and the line where the railings will be placed.

The DOTr also announced that the procurement of 36 new train sets from South Korea has already been done.

MRT-7 is a 23-kilometer railway system that connects North Avenue in Quezon City to the province of Bulacan.

The train system traverses 14 stations namely North Avenue, Quezon City Memorial Circle, University Avenue, Tandang Sora, Don Antonio, Batasan, Manggahan, Doña Carmen, Regalado, Mindanao Avenue, Quirino, Sacred Heart, Tala and San Jose Del Monte.

It can load up to 500,000 passengers daily.

To prevent similar glitches as those in MRT Line 3, the DOTr is in close coordination with the agency’s private partners in terms of the regular maintenance of the MRT-7.

Usec. Batan said the completion of the entire project is expected in 2022. – with details from Joan Nano

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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