PHIVOLCS Holds Earthquake and Tsunami Awareness and Preparedness Seminars for Local Chief Executives, Barangay Captains, Media Practitioners and Teachers in Eastern Samar

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The PHIVOLCS Resource Speakers with Borongan City Mayor 
Maria Fe Abunda and PSTD Arnaldo Amosco Jr.
To help in the continued capacity building on earthquake and tsunami preparedness of local chief executives, barangay officials, local media and teachers, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), headed by its Director, Dr. Renato U. Solidum, and in coordination with the DOST-Eastern Samar Provincial S&T Center and the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) of Eastern Samar, has conducted a series of 1-day seminar-workshops last August 8, 9, 10, 12, 14 and 15, 2013 at different venues in the province.

Timed to coincide a year after the August 31, 2013 Magnitude 7.6 Earthquake in the province, the seminar-workshops highlighted the experiences, problems and lessons from this event, and aimed to increase the understanding of hazard maps, earthquake and tsunami bulletins/advisories with emphasis on the importance of natural signs of approaching tsunami. The workshops were designed to focus on understanding the Tsunami Information Levels and what actions can be taken for each, and encouraging strengthened early warning communication system in the local levels.

The first cluster (August 8) of the seminar workshop was held at Dolores Gymnasium, Dolores, Eastern Samar and was attended by officials from municipalities of Sulat, Taft, Can-avid, Dolores, Oras, San Policarpo and Arteche. Last August 9, the second cluster was conducted at the Provincial Governor’s Office Conference Hall, Provincial Capitol, Borongan City and was attended by the municipalities of San Julian, Borongan City, Maydolong, Balangkayan, Llorente, Hernani, and Gen. MacArthur. The Media group was gathered on August 10 and were provided with basic information of tsunami/earthquakes and efficient communication strategies in giving latest and correct tsunami/earthquake bulletins and advisories. Consequently, last August 12, the third cluster was held at Marcelo’s Place in Guiuan and was participated by officials from municipalities of Quinapondan, Salcedo, Mercedes, Guiuan, Giporlos, Balangiga, and Lawaan.

The same training was conducted by PHIVOLCS to selected elementary and secondary teachers of both public and private schools of Borongan City last August 14-15, 2013 and was held in Sabang Central Elementary School and Eugenio S. Daza Pilot Elementary School, respectively. Among the objectives are to train the teachers on how to effectively educate tsunami and earthquakes concepts to their students and guide in the preparation of school evacuation plans for emergency events. The teachers actively participated in demonstration teaching and were also given with various PHIVOLCS information materials/teaching aids like print materials, video packages, comics, posters and flashcards. The acitivity was co-sponsored by Borongan City Government.

Dr. Renato Solidum,  of PHIVOLCS  gave a lecture
The PHIVOLCS has identified Eastern Samar as a possible site for significant earthquakes and potentially large tsunamis in the future because of the presence of the Philippine Trench, which lies just 80 kilometers from its shorelines. Studies of past earthquakes suggest that an area between Eastern Samar and Surigao del Norte has not recorded significant movement for quite some time now. Called a major “seismic gap”, it is perceived to be building pressure over the years and will likely move through a large earthquake and subsequently cause an enormous tsunami. As of this time, no instruments can accurately predict as to when and where earthquakes will occur, thus, Director Solidum reminds all participants to “Start preparing. Take advantage and use the lessons from recent earthquake and tsunami events”. -NELLY JANE N. ALPEZ, SRA

Read More