Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum Jr.  (File photo)

MANILA – Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) Director Renato Solidum Jr. on Wednesday reminded the public anew on the importance of preparedness in case of disasters such as strong earthquakes.

"Ang importante, siguro maging paalala ito sa ating mga kababayan na ang malalakas na paglindol tulad ng nangyari sa Abra ay puwedeng tumama sa anumang lugar sa Pilipinas, except doon sa mainland Palawan kasi malayo po sila sa aktibong fault o trench. Kaya kailangang paghandaan ang mga malalakas na lindol. (It is important to remind our countrymen that earthquakes, like what happened in Abra, could happen anywhere in the Philippines except in mainland Palawan because it is far from any active fault or trench. We should be prepared for strong earthquakes)," he said in a public briefing.

He said one needs to identify the hazards that could hit an area. There is a HazardHunterPH mobile application developed by Phivolcs.

Solidum said the app informs users about possible hazards like a tropical cyclone, earthquake, and volcanic eruption that could hit their areas.

There is also a need to ensure that houses and buildings are strong enough to withstand strong quakes. Solidum said the Department of Science and Technology has also developed an app called "How Safe Is My House." This contains 12 questions that would help the users know if their house is safe from damage caused by calamity.

The official also noted that the whole community and local governments should have search and rescue and medical response units.

The magnitude 7 earthquake that jolted northern Luzon last July 27 has already generated 2,422 aftershocks as of 4 p.m. Wednesday. Of these, 809 were plotted or located, and 58 were felt. The magnitudes of these aftershocks ranged from 1.4 to 5.1.

"Ang kailangan nating paghandaan ay kung may mas matataas pang aftershock na magdulot ng intensity 6. Iyon po ay delikado sa mga siguro, nasira nang mga bahay at gusali. Kaya nga po ang nararapat diyan ay huwag munang gamitin until maayos o ‘di kaya ay siguro maipagawa nang mabuti. (People should be prepared in case of stronger aftershocks that could be felt at intensity 6. This would be harmful, especially for infrastructure that has already sustained damage. People should stay away from such infrastructures or these should be fixed first)," he said. (PNA)