PH new facility to increase earthquake detection capability

By Ma. Cristina Arayata

September 24, 2021, 7:53 pm

<p>Inside Phivolcs Mindanao Cluster Monitoring Center for Earthquake and Tsunami in Davao City (<em>Photo courtesy of Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum, Jr.) </em></p>

Inside Phivolcs Mindanao Cluster Monitoring Center for Earthquake and Tsunami in Davao City (Photo courtesy of Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum, Jr.) 

MANILA – The newly inaugurated Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) Mindanao Cluster Monitoring Center for Earthquake and Tsunami (PMCMCET) will boost the country's earthquake detection capability, Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum, Jr. said on Friday.

During PMCMCET's virtual inauguration, he said it is important for Phivolcs to detect small earthquake events, as these could possibly lead to large tremors.

The country now has a total of 111 facilities in its seismic network. These include 75 satellite-telemetered seismic stations; 29 staff-controlled seismic stations; and seven volcano observatories.

Solidum said Phivolcs wants to have a total of 115 earthquake detection centers by next year.

Phivolcs has a data receiving center in Quezon City, but Solidum noted that establishing an earthquake detection facility in other areas of the country would ensure continuity of service, especially during disasters.

"If there is a large earthquake in Metro Manila, it (other facilities) would help us ensure that the office is still operating. It is an initial step to ensure continuity of service," he said.

Establishing the PMCMCET, he said, is also helpful in case of large earthquake events in Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao on the same day.

In a video message, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte commended Phivolcs for staying true to its mandate, and for helping mitigate the disaster risks to communities. She thanked Phivolcs for widening the scope of earthquake detection.

PMCMCET is housed inside the Southern Mindanao Campus of the Philippine Science High School (PSHS) in Mintal, Davao City. The cluster center also manages the earthquake and tsunami monitoring stations in Mindanao, consisting of nine staff-controlled seismic stations, 18 satellite-telemetered seismic stations, and 12 sea-level detection stations and its tsunami alerting stations, according to Phivolcs.

Solidum shared that Phivolcs also share data with local government units and those that conduct seminars on disaster risk prevention. Thus, having the PMCMCET would strengthen data sharing.

Meanwhile Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato de la Peña also acknowledged that the information now can be easier to convey, through the establishment of the PMCMCET.

He also said he is happy that PSHS houses the facility because this would make students see and appreciate what science can do for the country. (PNA)