RP islands colliding

PHILIPPINES NEWS SERVICE — Earthquakes, land-slides and floods can occur in provinces located in the so-called collision zone.

Dr. Graciano Yumul, Jr. Science and Technology Undersecretary and Officer-in-Charge of the Philippine Council for Industry and Energy Research and Development (PCIERD), aired his concern to media during the 2009 Earth Science International Conference.

According to Yumul, Palawan had collided (slowly) with Mindoro and Panay Islands and this will continue for many years as the geological structure and movement of con-tinents are going towards northwest.

“There’s already a collision that happened pero hindi natin nara-ramdaman because the movement and size of collision we recorded is only seven centimeters per year. Mapapansin lang natin na may mga earth-quakes and landslides may happen,” he said.

A collaborative research on the collision zone in Central Philippines is currently being under-taken by the University of the Philippines and the National Taiwan Univer-sity to understand the related natural hazards and mineral resources associated with its geogra-phical features.

They are also studying the crustal deformation in Luzon which according to Yumul may lead to mass formations of land or submersion of islands.

An initial study con-ducted led by Dr. Carla B. Dimalanta of the National Institute of Geological Sciences and UP inves-tigated the site of conver-gence between the Pala-wan Microcontinental Block and the Philippine Mobile Belt in Central Philippines.

The collision is said to be significant in the evolution of the archipelago. Tablas and Sibuyan islands are geologically complex and tectonically active.

The research is also looking on the possibility that the collision may be connected to the petroleum and gas fields of Northern Palawan.

Romblon possess a whole range of industrial and metallic mineral resources, aside from energy resources within the collision zone.

“May nakita pa nga kami sa lugar doon na may riles sa ilalim ng tubig. At may poso rin ng tubig sa ilalim meaning may islands doon dati na nakalitaw pero lumubog na ngayon,” Yu-mul explained.

He said China Sea will soon be just a creek. “Soon you will no longer need to get a visa to go to China,” Yumul joked.

The Philippines is hos-ting this year the Earth Science International Conference in collaboration with RP-Taiwan S&T Cooperative Initiatives and ASEAN University Network/Southeast Asia Engi-neering Education Development Network (AUN/SEED-Net) .

The network is composed of 30 universities from ASEAN countries and 11 supporting uni-versities from Japan. The Philippines is represented by the De La Salle University and UP.