As the two pilot barangays of the Establishment of a Cost-Effective Local Tsunami Early Warning System for Selected High-Risk Coastal Communities of the Philippines (TeWS) project for Batangas City, Mabacong and Sta. Rita Aplaya went through capacity building on community-based tsunami early warning system on Feb 21-22, 2013.
The TeWS project is identified with objectives that include a) to develop, fabricate and install GSM-activated warning sirens in high-risk coastal communities; and 2) to train and educate stakeholders on how to use the early warning system and how to respond properly during tsunami emergencies.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS, in collaboration with the Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) through the TeWS project, trained the two barangays’representatives and staff from the local government and agencies of Batangas City and the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (CDRRMC) in tsunami awareness and preparedness at the CDRRMC Operations Center.
Simultaneously, the instrumentation team from PHIVOLCS and ASTI installed two tsunami warning sirens in Sta. Rita Aplaya, one in Mabacong and also one in front of the CDRRMC Center.
During the two-day capacity building, PHIVOLCS lectured on earthquake, tsunami and their hazards, and facilitated workshops on Basic Map Reading, Preparing the Barangay Spot Map and Barangay Tsunami Evacuation Map and a Focus Group discussion on how the community can prepare for tsunami and disseminate the information effectively to neighboring tsunami-prone areas.
Joan Salcedo of PHIVOLCS explained that in order to develop a tsunami-prepared community, people should increase their awareness on basic tsunami information and generate tsunami hazard and risk mapping, tsunami evacuation planning, and establish a tsunami warning system and tsunami mitigation measures which will depend on the means and capability of the community.
The participants then presented the outputs on the Barangay Spot Map and Evacuation Map, and proposed actions to mainstream evacuation information and enhance communication system for the two model barangays.
Office of Civil Defense Region IV-A Director Vicente Tomazar also graced the event, extending his appreciation for the active involvement of the participants.
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