Phivolcs shares earthquake assessment system with Dagupan officials, newsmen

DAGUPAN CITY, Feb. 12 (PNA) — The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) is now sharing a vital software that it had developed recently to officials, planners and members of the media in Dagupan so that they will know what to do in case a potentially damaging earthquake hits their area.

Dr. Leonila Bautista, associate scientist of Phivolcs, an agency under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), said they have so far downloaded the Rapid Earthquake Damage Assessment System (REDAS) to some 60 computers owned by as many participants attending a week-long training that started Sunday at CSI Stadia sponsored by the Dagupan City government.

“With the software, we can simulate different earthquake scenarios,” said Bautista, who is spearheading the REDAS training.

“For instance if you want to simulate the 1990 earthquake or any earthquake in particular, you can determine the intensity recorded in some places,” she added.

Through REDAS, you will be able to determine areas that will likely undergo liquefaction like what happened in Dagupan in the 1990 earthquake when buildings sank and tilted because they were standing on soft soil,” explained Bautista.

“With this, we can estimate areas where landslides are likely to occur, where tsunamis will occur, how high are they and how many minutes they will reach one’s areas,” she said in a talk to newsmen.

Bautista said in this REDAS training which will end Friday, Phivolcs is also teaching the local government on how to build its own exposure data base, among these the locations, height, age and types of buildings and how many people are living in these buildings.

“With these information, we will be able to compute the risk. At least we can estimate how many will die, how many will be injured, what is the economic loss,” Bautista said.

She said Philvolcs has so far conducted REDAS training in 52 out of 81 provinces in the whole country and for Dagupan City, this is already the second one, and this time, the agency is presenting a more updated version, which can already do the computation.

Bautista said the mayor of Dagupan, Belen Fernandez, is supportive of this project because she wants her city to become one of the most advanced cities that use this kind of software.

Although most of the participants in the training are from Dagupan, a few are from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRMC) of Pangasinan and from the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) of Mangaldan town. (PNA)