Phivolcs turns over earthquake response atlases to 6 sites - TrueID

Phivolcs turns over earthquake response atlases to 6 sites

Philippine News AgencyOctober 22, 2021

MANILA – The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) virtually turned over on Friday its Specific Earthquake Project Site Response Atlases to six sites -- Pangasinan, Tarlac, Metro Iloilo-Guimaras, Cauayan City, Butuan City, and Mati City.

The atlases are compilations of maps depicting site response and resulting earthquake ground motion to help increase the seismic resiliency of infrastructures in the study areas by providing ground motion data for seismic load design considerations.

According to Phivolcs, these atlases include peak ground acceleration Maps, Vs30 model maps, short-period microzonation maps, and long-period microzonation maps. Such maps provide information to collectively understand the dynamic characteristics of the underlying soil and rock layers affecting the ground motion during an earthquake.

The atlases were developed under the project called “Specific Earthquake Ground Motion Levels to Help Increase the Seismic Resiliency of Government Infrastructures, Residential, and Medium-to-High Rise Buildings in Pangasinan, Tarlac, Metro Iloilo-Guimaras, Cauayan City, Butuan City, and Mati City” funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

Rhommel Grutas, project leader, said that urban communities are prone to ground shaking hazards due to the rapid development of medium to high rise infrastructures proximal to earthquake generators.

"Seismic micronization maps are useful in the development of comprehensive land use plans for major cities. These allow government agencies to develop better disaster response programs and (to have) more resilient communities and infrastructures," he added.

DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said that Grutas have explored new and globally acceptable technology that can provide proper information to planners.

"(The) DOST approved and funded his research proposals that put together a team that performed necessary surveys and data collection, analyses and interpretation, and mapping of the final results. With these pieces of information, engineers can properly design buildings to withstand the effects of ground shaking due to earthquakes," de la Peña said during the turnover ceremony.

Urban planners, he said, should have a wider perspective of the engineering challenges faced by property developers before crafting their comprehensive land-use and development plans.

"Deep boreholes, soil penetration tests, and other geotechnical investigations, covering wide areas, are expensive, time-consuming, labor-intensive, and invasive," the official acknowledged.

He added that even if funds are available, heavy machinery performing on weekdays can cause traffic, noise, and sometimes alarming movement affecting nearby buildings. "It will take longer and quite expensive to perform this in every corner of a developing city," he commented.

With this, de la Peña said the DOST expects that these maps will help the beneficiaries in crafting better plans and policies in their respective areas.(PNA) 

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