Phivolcs to install tsunami detection system in Guiuan

TACLOBAN CITY, July 14 (PNA) — The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) will complete the installation of tsunami detection system in Guiuan, Eastern Samar after it was derailed by last year’s super typhoon.

PHIVOLCS Director Renato U. Solidum said the installation of Tsunami Early Warning System (TeWS) in Guiuan is very crucial since it is the first line of defense for other areas in Eastern Visayas from rising seas.

“We’re supposed to start the project last year, but it was delayed due to the storm. However, we expect to complete the project before the end of 2014,” Solidum said.

TeWS are strategically located to capture data right after inland and offshore ground shaking. For instance, the detection system in Guiuan town is located on the southeastern most tip of Eastern Visayas.

“If we detect the tsunami in Guiuan, we will be able to immediately send warning to people in coastal areas of Leyte, Southern Leyte and inner part of Samar province,” Solidum told reporters in a recent gathering with local chief executives in the province.

The detection system consists of three types of sensors that include dry, wet, and ultrasonic sea level sensor.

Dry sensor is submerged underwater so that when the seawater receded, the instrument could sense water level drop. It will then send signal to the monitoring system.

The wet sensor can be installed on land in the coastal area at various elevation above sea level to detect incoming waves. If the sensor is hit by tsunami waves, it automatically send signals to monitoring system.

The ultrasonic sea level sensor, placed on top of the pole, detects sea level changes, which confirms any significant rise and fall in the sea level.

Information from the detection system is transmitted to the local disaster risk reduction and management office through a visualization tool attached to the system.

TeWS have already been installed in Lingayen Gulf; Subic Bay, Manila Bay, Batangas Bay, Albay Gulf, Sarangani Bay. Government launched the low-cost warning system project in 2012.

Currently being installed are warning systems in Anini-y, Antique; Oton, Iloilo, Guiuan, Eastern Samar; Bislig City, Surigao del Sur; and Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte. (PNA)