PHIVOLCS reminds public to prepare for potential hazards amid COVID-19 pandemic
Marje Pelayo • July 29, 2020 • 150
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)
MANILA, Philippines — Mount Kanlaon in Negros Island is one of the most active volcanoes in the country similar to Mt. Pinatubo in Zambales, Mt. Mayon in Albay, Mt. Bulusan in Sorsogon, and Mt. Hibok-Hibok in Camiguin Island.
Based on the observation of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), the volcano has recorded abnormal activities especially last Sunday (June 21) and Monday (June 22).
Earthquakes have been felt as the volcano spewed ashes.
Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Undersecretary and PHIVOLCS OIC Renato Solidum explained these activities may be attributed to an existing fault.
They are now observing if the tremors will move under the summit.
“Itong pagkilos ng fault ay posibleng sanhi dahil sa pag pressurize ng lugar sa Kanlaon volcano ng hydrothermal fluids o pagpapakulo ng tubig o di kaya ay mas malalim pang magmatic activity,” Solidum noted.
Most of the Kanlaon’s explosions were phreatic, the agency observed.
Based on studies of rock samples from the volcano, its last lava episode was in the early 1900’s.
In the 1996 eruption, three persons who went up the volcano died.
Usec. Solidum said Mt. Kanlaon is not comparable with the Taal Volcano when it comes to activities, though a major eruption is possible.
Alert Level 1 has been raised over Mt Kanlaon since March this year.
“Kung ang tanong mo ay mabilis yung escalation, wala tayong nakikitang ganung history sa Kanlaon based on record history (We didn’t have any record of rapid escalation based on Kanlaon’s record in history),” Solidum said.
“Pero yung posibilidad ng magkaroon ng mas malakas na eruption ay nandoon katulad ng Mayon Volcano; not Taal Volcano, hindi naman sila pareho ng setting (But there is the possibility of a major eruption like with Mount Mayon, but unlike Taal Volcano. Their settings are different),” he added.
PHIVOLCS warned that entering the four-kilometer permanent danger zone is strictly prohibited. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)
Inihahanda na ng pamahalaan ng La Carlota City sa Negros Occidental ang disaster management plan na ipatutupad sakaling lumala ang ipinakikitang abnormalidad ng Mount Kanlaon.
Ayon kay La Carlota City Mayor Rex Jalando-on, nakapaloob sa kanilang plano ang pagtukoy sa mga barangay na lubos na maapektuhan at kailangang ilikas sakaling sumabog ang bulkan o kaya ay mas tumindi pa ang nararanasang pagyanig sa paligid ng bulkan.
Nakapaloob rin sa disaster management plan ang gagamiting logistics, transportation at available resources, pati na ang positioning ng food packs at mga lugar na maaaring gamiting temporary shelter ng mga ililikas na residente.
Tiniyak rin ni Jalando-on na mayroong P10 milyong quick response fund na maaaring gamitin ang lokal na pamahalaan.
Nagsasagawa na rin sila ng kampanya upang paalalahanan ang mga residente na maghanda at maging alerto sa gitna ng nararanasang pagyanig sa kanilang lungsod.
May gagawin ring drill upang malaman ng mga residente ang mga dapat gawin kapag nakaranas ng malakas na lindol o kaya ay sumabog ang bulkan.
Bahagya ring humina ang inilalabas na puting usok ng bulkan na umabot sa taas na 300 metro.
Iniulat rin ng PHIVOLCS ang patuloy na deflation sa ibabang bahagi ng bulkan at inflation o paglobo naman sa gitnang dalisdis na nangangahulugan umano ng hydrothermal o magmatic activity sa ilalim ng lupa.
Muli ring nagpa-alala ang ahensiya na nasa alert level 1 ang Mount Kanlaon na ang ibig sabihin ay nagpapakita ito ng abnormal na aktibidad at nasa “period of unrest.”
Naka-deklarang permanent danger zone ang four-kilometer radius ng bulkan at ipinagbabawal ang pagpasok rito ng mga tao.
Sakop naman ng eight-kilometer radius ng bulkan ang mga Barangay ng Ara-ala at Yubo kaya’t mahigpit itong binabantayan ng lokal na pamahalaan. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Lalaine Moreno)
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