S&T FORUM: TRAUMA ASSOCIATED WITH POST-DISASTER EVENTS
Monday, 15 February 2016 11:56

Director Renato Solidum, Jr. and other staff of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) attended a Science and Technology (S & T) Forum regarding “Trauma Associated with Post-Disaster Events” at the 2nd floor Conference Room, PHIVOLCS building on February 12, 2016.

Dr. Dale Dominey-Howes, Associate Professor in University of Sydney, discussed how researchers may suffer trauma from working in a traumatic or disaster-stricken environment. “Disasters don’t happen in nature, disaster happens to us,” he said.

Although usually, researchers must be careful in asking participants or survivors to relive stressful events, and must protect their subjects during interview or field work, it is often neglected that a researcher might be vulnerable during the course of their work and suffer trauma as well. Researchers or those who work in disaster-stricken areas could experience Vicarious or Secondary Trauma that might be triggered by a previous traumatic experience, extended periods of exposure, lack of support networks, as well as age and gender.

Dominey-Howes said that despite expectations of being professional during work, it is normal [or human] to be overwhelmed by emotions specially while working in a place that was struck by disaster such as earthquake, tsunami, and volcanic eruption. He explained that working with emotions gives a researcher a chance improve his work by doing self-reflect , and quoted “reflection is a process of constant, self- conscious scrutiny of the self as researcher and of the research process” (England, 1994).

He also shared his experiences highlighting the two types of reflections: (1) a direct personal, where he experienced first-hand being overwhelmed by his emotions during a field work in Turkey and; (2) indirect professional, which he felt through a subordinate who worked extensively in Thailand. 

He explained that it is important to acknowledge Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and conduct necessary activities to strengthen emotional and mental health.  Dominey-Howes also enumerated possible courses of action to be able to move forward such as counseling, having a time out or break from work, meditate, and relax.

After ending his presentation with the quotes, “We are all human and emotions affect us” and “Put aside logic, do what feels right”, Director Solidum shared his experiences and acknowledged that putting aside personal feelings to be able to perform a task is important, but being overwhelmed by emotion is inevitable. Dominey-Howes said that it is good that PHIVOLCS conducts activities to relieve stress/trauma, and he thinks that PHIVOLCS is like a family that supports each other.

 

Director Renato Solidum, Jr. and other staff of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) attended a Science and Technology (S & T) Forum regarding “Trauma Associated with Post-Disaster Events” at the 2nd floor Conference Room, PHIVOLCS building on February 12, 2016.
 
HAND-OVER OF JICA-PHIVOLCS EARTHQUAKE AND TSUNAMI MONITORING EQUIPMENT
Wednesday, 28 October 2015 12:50

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) officials turned over to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) earthquake and tsunami monitoring equipment in a symbolic hand-over ceremony at PHIVOLCS Auditorium, C.P. Garcia Avenue, UP Campus, Diliman, Quezon City on October 15, 2015.

JICA started the Project for Improvement of Equipment for Disaster Risk Management last 2012 through its technology partner NEC Corporation, formerly known as Nippon Electric Company, Limited, with the goal of improving disaster risk management in the Philippines. The project aims to enhance disaster risk reduction and provide timely and reliable warnings and information for the public. In this project, they provided 10 Broadband Strong Motion Seismometers, 36 Strong Motion Seismometers, 19 Sea-level Monitoring Stations and 240 Intensity Meters.

The monitoring equipment aids in the assessment of manmade structures, as well as quick determination of intensities in affected areas.  The near real-time and accurate information would help authorities and agencies in providing rescue or relief operations quickly.

PHIVOLCS Director Renato Solidum, Jr. toured Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines His Excellency Mr. Kazuhide Ishikawa, JICA Philippines Chief Representative Mr. Noriaki Niwa, and Assistant Secretary Raymund Liboro, who attended the event in behalf of Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Mario Montejo, upon their arrival at PHIVOLCS. Director Solidum showed the guests the earthquake and tsunami monitoring equipment being used in Seismological Observation and Earthquake Prediction Division (SOEPD) of PHIVOLCS.

Nine (9) out of the 10 broadband strong motion seismometers and 30 of the 36 strong motion seismometers were already installed and working. The rest of the equipment would be installed by 2016. In addition, 13 sea-level monitoring stations were already placed throughout the country’s coastline. “Tsunamis do not recognize boundaries,” said Director Solidum of PHIVOLCS. “The protection of the Philippines is the protection of those in Japan and those along the coastlines” he added.

During the ceremonial turn-over, Japanese Ambassador Ishikawa handed-over a symbolic seismometer to Director Solidum. In exchange, Director Solidum gave Ambassador Ishikawa and Mr. Niwa miniature jeepneys and volcanic ash shaped as Mayon Volcano as a token of appreciation.

Hand-over Ceremony of Earthquake and Tsunami Monitoring Equipment

 
PHIVOLCS, QCSCFI TALK ABOUT DISASTER RISK REDUCTION EFFORTS OF QUEZON CITY
Wednesday, 28 October 2015 12:48

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), together with the Quezon City Science Community Foundation, Inc. (QCSCFI) conducted a press conference, Infosentro, at the PHIVOLCS’ Conference Room last October 14, 2015.

The panel was composed of the Board of Directors of QCSCFI with current president Dr. Evangeline Bautista, Dean of Ateneo de Manila, Ret. PC/Supt. Elmo San Diego, Head of Department of Public Order and Safety, Dr. Almunda dela Rosa, Director of Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) and treasurer of QCSCFI, PHIVOLCS Director Renato Solidum, Jr., and Dr. Grace dela Calzada of Philippine Children’s Medical Center as representative of Dr. Julius Lecciones. Mr. Paul Limhada attended the event in behalf of Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista.

Dr. Bautista started the Infosentro with a brief introduction about QCSCFI, a multi-disciplinary organization composed of 20 Science-based government and private institutions. QCSCFI was formed in 1993 by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) with the objective of being able to use Science to assist Quezon City in its needs. The three main focus of QCSCFI are environment, education, and health. 

The panel welcomed questions from the 16 members of the press who attended the Infosentro. Projects and participation of the different institutions were also discussed.PNRI Director Dr. delaRosa mentioned that they are working on a project involving “irradiated ration that has a long shelf-life which could be used in times of emergency.” 

Dr. Solidum and Ret. PC/Supt. San Diego said that Quezon City was the first local government unit who worked with PHIVOLCS regarding the valley fault and the preparedness of the community for the ‘Big One’. The latter also mentioned about commissioning a Ground Penetrating Radar to convince those who are still skeptic about the valley fault and the probability of a strong earthquake.

Infosentro was held during the “Workshop on the Integrating Hazard Maps into the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan of Selected Barangays in Quezon City.” The workshop, spearheaded by PHIVOLCS in partnership with Quezon City government aims to increase community and family preparedness.

 
PHIVOLCS, QCSCFI CONDUCT DISASTER RISK REDUCTION WORKSHOP FOR SELECTED QC BARANGAYS
Wednesday, 28 October 2015 12:34

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), in partnership with the Quezon City Science Community Foundation, Inc. (QCSCFI) conducted a Workshop on Integrating Hazard Maps into the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan of Selected Barangays in Quezon City last October 14, 2015 at PHIVOLCS Auditorium, C.P. Garcia Avenue, UP Campus, Diliman, Quezon City.

The one-day workshop was held to be able to increase the community and family preparedness, enhance the communication system, and identify evacuation areas within the barangay immediately after an earthquake. 

The 120 participants from the nine barangays and the staff of Quezon City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office actively participated in the different activities such as answering the question “How Safe is my House?” and identifying evacuation areas in each barangays. They also presented the outputs of the activity at the end of the workshop.

Through the use and integration of information from the Valley Fault System and other earthquake-related hazard and risk maps in the current Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Plan of selected barangays in Quezon City, the workshop produced nine barangay maps with identified evacuation areas and a list of available communication resources for Bagong Silangan, Batasan Hills, Matandang Balara, Pansol, Blue Ridge B, Libis, Bagumbayan, White Plais, and Ugong Norte.

The workshop was organized as part of the disaster risk reduction efforts of Quezon City, together with PHIVOLCS and QCSCFI, to help the officials from the nine barangays of Quezon City traversed the West Valley Fault to prepare the community and families in case a major earthquake will occur.

Workshop on Integrating Hazard Maps into the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan of Selected Barangays in Quezon City

 
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