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Segment of PH trench off Surigao del Norte coast may generate magnitude 8 earthquake – PHIVOLCS

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Tuesday, April 30th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – A series of small and moderate earthquakes has been recorded along the Philippine trench off the coast of Surigao del Norte.

On April 26, a magnitude 5.5 earthquake was recorded 70 kilometers southeast of General Luna on Siargao Island.

Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Undersecretary Renato Solidum said earthquake swarms may continue due to the subduction in the Philippine trench.

The official explained that an earthquake swarm is different from aftershocks.

“Ang aftershock kasi ay maliliit na paglindol pagkatapos ng isang talagang malakas na pagyanig, distict na malakas. Ang nangyayari kasi sa off shore ng Surigao del Norte may magnitude 5.5 pero may mga magnitude 5, 4 point plus. So hindi talaga isang lindol na malakas tapos puro maliliit na. (An aftershock is a small earthquake after a strong shaking, distinctively strong. What is happening off the shore of Surigao del Norte is that, there is magnitude 5.5 but there are magnitudes 5, 4 point plus. So it’s not a strong earthquake and the followed by small ones,)” the Director of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) explained.

Recently, a series of earthquakes in the area has also been recorded but Usec. Solidum said the activities have gradually subsided.

PHIVOLCS monitors the area so that they can immediately warn the public for a possible tsunami if a strong tremor occurs.

Solidum said a strong earthquake might not happen but it was a long time ago since the agency recorded a strong movement in that segment of the Philippine trench.

“Posibleng mga class magnitude 8 earthquake ang pwedeng maidulot ng pagkilos sa Philippine trench at pwede itong mag-trigger ng tsunami na pwedeng makaapekto sa baybayin ng mga probinsyang nakaharap sa Pacific Ocean, (The Philippine Trench may cause class magnitude 8 earthquake and it may trigger Tsunami that may affect coastal areas facing the Pacific Ocean,) Solidum said.

The official said a tsunami might reach the nearest fault in a matter of minutes depending on the distance of the epicenter to the nearest coast.

Although no swarm was recorded in other segments of the Philippine trench like the Manila trench, Sulu-Negros trench, and Cotabato trench; they may generate a major quake.

The Manila trench may generate a magnitude 8.3 earthquake and tsunami with a height of 3.5 meters to 5.5 meters.

Areas facing the West Philippine Sea might be affected including the Manila Bay.

“Kung nasa dalampasigan sila o malapit, mapapansin nilang biglang bumaba ang tubig, mabilisan. At kung nandoon pa sila malapit sa dalampasigan, pwede silang makarinig ng kakaibang ugong at ito ay senyales na ang tsunami ay paparating na sa dalampasigan, (If they are in or near the coastal areas, they will notice the immediate or abnormal drop of seawater. And if they are near the coastline, they would hear a roaring sound and it is a sign that a tsunami is approaching,)” Solidum concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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Filipino experts develop quake-proof desks for kindergarten students

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Friday, April 26th, 2019

Quake-proof desks called Life-Saving Automated Mesa (LAMESA) | Courtesy: DOST

Filipino experts have developed quake-proof desks for kindergarten students. It also serves as an earthquake warning system.

According to the released statement of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), a group of researchers from the Philippine Normal University (PNU), De La Salle University, and Technological University of the Philippines, developed a high impact-proof automated study desk for preschool children.

They called it LAMESA or Life-Saving Automated Mesa to Endure Seismic Activity.

“LAMESA combines technology with capacity building in terms of knowledge and infrastructure to best address such probable disaster, particularly in educational institutions,” their statement reads.

The LAMESA desk measures 1.22 m in length, 0.69 m in width and 3.327 cm in tabletop thickness. It’s height is 0.57 m so that preschoolers can easily hide under the desk. Its table top is also made of steel and is coated with epoxy paint for durability.

There is also a storage bin with a sliding door for keeping lighting devices, food and water supplies for up to nine kindergarteners.

“LAMESA is equipped with an accelerometer, a device that senses motion, which feeds seismic measurements to a Wi-Fi-enabled microcontroller. This microcontroller then simultaneously triggers the actuator which causes the table top to fold 16 degrees upward,” the statement further reads.

PNU’s Dr. Marie Paz E. Morales, research team leader, said “[On] average, a strong earthquake that may cause debris lasts about 30 to 40 seconds. This means that LAMESA’s four-second response time provides ample time to shield children from debris during an earthquake.”

The researchers are continuing to make improvements to enhance LAMESA’s prototype design.

“We are [also] contemplating on using fiberglass instead. We also thought of using a wall sensor to manage a set of desks,” Dr. Morales adds.—Aileen Cerrudo

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PHIVOLCS examines extent of “ground ruptures” in Surigao

by admin   |   Posted on Friday, February 17th, 2017

SURIGAO, Philippines — The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) is measuring the horizontal and vertical displacements of ground ruptures found in the town of San Francisco, Surigao del Norte after a magnitude 6.7 earthquake hit the province.

Some of the ruptures are located near residential areas.

Ground ruptures are caused by the movement of a fault line.

Based on PHIVOLCS’ assessment, the ground ruptures in Barangay Poblacion measures up to one-kilometer in length.

PHIVOLCS said they need to get the exact measurement of the rupture to warn residents that it is not advisable and it is dangerous to build establishments near it.

Surigao del Norte is one of the seismically active areas in the country and is located in the Philippine Trench. — UNTV News and Rescue

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DOST hybrid road train not applicable in Metro Manila

by admin   |   Posted on Friday, August 19th, 2016

DOST hybrid road train not applicable in Metro Manila

DOST hybrid road train not applicable in Metro Manila


The new administration of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) will no longer push the use of the hybrid road train in Metro Manila.

In an interview with the program “Get It Straight with Daniel Razon,” DOST Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña said, the road train doesn’t fit Metro Manila’s thoroughfares especially in EDSA.

Dela Peña says the train needs dedicated or a priority lane for it to run smoothly at a maximum speed of 50kph.

The road train was launched by DOST in 2012 with a budget of 45 million pesos to solve the problem of worsening traffic in Metro Manila.

It has a series of 5 coaches of 40 meters long and can accommodate up to 240 passengers.

It took three years for the completion of the hybrid road train.

DOST is looking for other cities that can accommodate such design of public transport.

“To make the most out of it, we are looking for other cities that are willing to adopt because it is difficult to find adaptors here. We cannot push for it here,” Dela Peña said.

The newly installed secretary says DOST will maximize the utilization of the agency’s R&D products such as in health, transportation and in agriculture.

“The utilization is very limited. Like new technologies in the use of irradiated carrageenan for the strengthening of rice plant. There are municipalities adopting it and we want to expand in a larger scale.”

Meanwhile, DOST plans to procure new equipment like radars for more accurate weather forecast for the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Adminsitration or PAGASA.

The budget for 2017 is five times higher than the previous years and will be used to comply with the PAGASA Modernization Law. — Rey Pelayo / UNTV News & Rescue

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