Legazpi City, 25 September 2012. The formal signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the DOST-Grant-in-Aid Project “Establishment of a Cost-Effective Local Tsunami Early Warning System for Selected High-Risk Coastal Communities of the Philippines (TeWS Project)” among PHIVOLCS, ASTI, both agencies under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), with the Province of Albay, Legazpi City, Municipality of Rapu-Rapu and Rapu-Rapu Minerals Incorporated (RRMI) was held today, at the Ibalong Conference Hall.
Under the TeWS Project, PHIVOLCS and ASTI designed and will install a Tsunami Detection and Warning System, composed of 1 set of combined tsunami ultrasonic sea level, wet and dry sensors in Rapu Rapu and 5 warning sirens in selected pilot coastal barangays of Legazpi City. In case of an offshore local earthquake, PHIVOLCS with the 69-station Philippine Seismic Monitoring Network monitors, records and locates earthquakes. Considering the short-time duration between an earthquake event and the tsunami arrival (15 to 30 minutes for Albay Gulf), it is important that almost-real time information is received by the coastal communities. The add-on of this project is that if and when the earthquake is strong enough to generate tsunami, the installed sensors in Rapu-Rapu MI will detect the possible changes in sea level and this will give information to the host LGU. Once signal confirms tsunami waves, the LGU can then trigger the warning siren to warn residents.
The event was attended by Mayor Geraldine Rosal of Legazpi City, Mayor Nora Onate (Rapu Rapu), Director Renato U Solidum, Jr of PHIVOLCS, Mr. Gerwin Guba (ASTI), and Jason Lim , Senior Manager (RRMI).
In addition, to ensure that the Legazpi CDRRMC and pilot coastal barangays namely Rawis, Bonot and San Roque where the warning sirens will be installed are properly oriented about the TeWS project and the detection and warning system, a 2-day capacity building session was designed. The 2-day seminar emphasizes basics of earthquakes and tsunami generation, natural signs of approaching tsunami and community-based early warning system. The capacity building activity is a joint effort of PHIVOLCS, Legazpi City DRRMC and APSEMO.
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