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Citizens' Charter

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Tuesday, 28 October 2008 17:58

The Philippines through its two national agencies, Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) and the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) will join other countries around the Pacific Ocean as participants in a mock tsunami scenario during 28-30 October 2008.·The purpose of this Pacific-wide exercise is to increase preparedness, evaluate response capabilities in each country and improve coordination throughout the region.

The exercise, titled Exercise Pacific Wave 08 (EPW08), will simulate Pacific countries being put into a Tsunami Warning situation requiring government decision-making. It is the second such exercise, with the first having been carried out in May 2006 during which the Philippines participated through relay of information and warning from PHIVOLCS to OCD and down to the pilot site Barangay Buhatan, Santo Domingo, AlbayProvince, where a mock barangay-wide evacuation was carried out .
The exercise will occur in two stages and will exemplify the process of relaying the tsunami warning. For the first stage, a destructive tsunami crossing the Pacific from an earthquake near Japan will be simulated. This will be relayed through a series of notifications and bulletins by the Japan’s Northwest Pacific Tsunami Advisory Center (NWPTAC) and the US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) to designated contact points for tsunami information issuance in each country, i.e. PHIVOLCS for the Philippines. PHIVOLCS will issue an appropriate advisory and bulletin to the OCD. For the second stage, OCD after simulating internal procedures will cascade the information to its regional offices and to the different affected provinces until the information reaches the participating coastal communities in identified municipalities.··
For this EPW08, PHIVOLCS, as tsunami warning focal point and OCD, as the national agency for response will concentrate in testing the flow of communication system from national down to provincial level. The exercise will be an opportunity to check the timing of information flow from the provincial down to the barangay level. A review and evaluation of procedures will be conducted in order to discuss how to improve further the current communication scheme.
“In 1960, the Great Chilean Earthquake generated a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami which reached the Philippines and reportedly claimed 24 lives. It is important that countries along the Pacific should be prepared for such events,” said Dr. Renato U. Solidum, Jr. Director PHIVOLCS-DOST. “This EPW08 is an opportunity for the national government to further test its existing inter-agency procedures in communication and will help identify the strengths and weaknesses in the current system.”
Contact persons:
Dr. Renato U. Solidum, Jr. Director, 426 14 68 loc 112
Dr. Bartolome C. Bautista, Deputy Director, PHIVOLCS, 426 14 68 loc 116
Mr. Ishmael C. Narag, OIC Seismological Observation and Earthquake Prediction Division, 426 14 68 loc 124
Ms. Mylene Villegas, Geologic Disaster Awareness and Preparedness Division, 426 14 68 loc 121

PHIVOLCS-DOST Holds REDAS Training for Albay Province PDF Print
Thursday, 09 October 2008 13:09

PHIVOLCS-DOST held a five-day training for the province of Albay on the use of the Rapid Earthquake Damage Assessment System (REDAS) software. The training was held at PHIVOLCS Auditorium at Quezon City from September 8 to 12, 2008. The Honorable Joey Sarte Salceda, the Governor of Albay, graced the opening ceremony and gave the inspirational message. PHIVOLCS Director Renato U. Solidum, Jr. gave the welcome remarks. The REDAS software is one of the technologies featured in the “One-Stop Information Shop of Technologies (OSIST)” of the Philippines. REDAS has won First Prize twice in 2005 in the PCIERD-sponsored Search for Outstanding R & D Awardees in Industry and Energy both in the National Capital Region as well as in the National Level competition. The REDAS software was developed by PHIVOLCS scientists. The software generates seismic hazard and risk maps immediately after a potentially-damaging earthquake. The software can also be used for forward modeling of historical earthquake events. As part of PHIVOLCS commitment to the public service, the software with accompanying training is being provided to LGUs free of charge.

Monday, 30 June 2008 17:43

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology would like to inform the general public that the text message currently circulating in the Philippines about a prediction by a certain “US Geological Society” of a “magnitude 6.8 earthquake to hit Philippine Plates tonight”, purportedly issued by the “Hawaii State Emergency Preparedness Office” IS A HOAX.

This hoax started the day after the Magnitude 7.9 China earthquake of May 12, 2008.

There is no organization currently capable of predicting an earthquake which is very specific in terms of magnitude and the date. There is no “US Geological Society”, only US Geological SURVEY but this agency does not issue immediate predictions especially for areas outside the United States of America. Past experiences show that rumors of a predicted strong earthquake are common after disastrous earthquakes in nearby countries.

The Philippines can be affected by a major earthquake but as to when exactly this would happen cannot be predicted and what is important is we continue to practice earthquake preparedness and risk reduction measures.

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