Phivolcs reiterates need for strict building code compliance to cut disaster risks

Robie de Guzman   •   December 18, 2019   •   668

Rescuers walk next to a damaged market in the quake-hit town of Padada, Davao Del Sur province, Philippines, 16 December 2019. EPA-EFE/CERILO EBRANO

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Tuesday reiterated its call for strict compliance of the national building code to reduce, if not totally avoid, the risk of disasters in the event of strong earthquakes and other geological hazards.

Science and Technology Undersecretary Renato Solidum, also the director of Phivolcs, said commercial and residential buildings constructed using materials prescribed by experts and in compliance of the building code can withstand strong earthquake intensities.

“Sa ating building code, sa kasalukuyan, kung sinusunod ito hindi lang sa disenyo at sa materyales na ginagamit at workmanship o tamang paggawa, hindi po dapat mag-collapse sa intensity 6. Kayang mag-windstand ng ating mga istraktura ng intensity 8 na pag-uga ng lupa,” Solidum said.

The Phivolcs official renewed his call following the magnitude 6.9 quake that rattled parts of Mindanao on Sunday.

The tremor left thousands of families homeless, and their homes heavily damaged, especially in the town of Magsaysay in Davao del Sur.

According to Magsaysay Mayor Arthur Davin, the recent quake destroyed more structures in their town compared to the three strong temblors that hit their area in October.

“Sa pang-apat na lindol, mas dumami yung mga bagay na nasira sa amin. Dati noong last earthquake noong [October] 31, nasa 1,600 na bahay lang yung bumagsak. Ngayon, nadagdagan ng mga more than 1,000 or 2,000. Hindi pa kasi tapos ang evaluation namin,” he said.

Since the series of earthquakes in Mindanao in October, Solidum said a team from Phivolcs have been inspecting structures in quake-hit areas, including Cotabato, which found several schools and buildings to have been built using substandard materials.

“Ang isa sa mga problema, yung quality ng hollow blocks… Tapakan lang yung hollow blocks sira na, kurutin mo hollow blocks, masisira agad,” he said.

Solidum also suggested to include basic construction information in the school curriculum to educate the younger generation about the standards in erecting a building.

“Ituro na sa mga kababayan natin sa high school pa lang kung magpapatayo ng bahay, ito yung basic natin, ito yung basic shape para maging matibay sa bagyo at lindol,” he said.

He also urged the public to visit Phivolcs’ website and use its feature “How safe is my house?” to check whether a structure or a building is built to withstand disasters. – RRD (with details from Bernard Dadis)

Magnitude 5.1 quake rattles Occidental Mindoro

Robie de Guzman   •   December 21, 2021

A magnitude 5.1 quake jolted parts of Occidental Mindoro and nearby areas on Tuesday, the Philippine Institute of Seismology and Volcanology (PHIVOLCS) said.

In a bulletin, PHIVOLCS said the epicenter of the quake was located 15 kilometers northeast of Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro. It occurred at 12:08 p.m.

The temblor was a tectonic in origin and had a depth of 15 kilometers.

PHIVOLCS said the quake was felt at the following areas:

• Intensity IV – Sablayan and Rizal, Occidental Mindoro
• Intensity III – Abra De Ilog, Santa Cruz and Calintaan, Occidental Mindoro; Calapan City and Bansud, Oriental Mindoro
• Intensity II – Makati City; Batangas City; Baco, Oriental Mindoro
• Intensity I – Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro; Tingloy, Batangas;

“This is an aftershock of the October 03, 2021 M5.3 Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro Earthquake event,” the agency noted in its report.

Damage and aftershocks are to be expected following the quake, PHIVOLCS said.

Magnitude 5.5 quake hits Paluan, Occidental Mindoro — Phivolcs

Maris Federez   •   December 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — A magnitude 5.5 earthquake hit the town of Paluan in Occidental Mindoro at 5:12 in the afternoon on Monday (December 13).

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the tremor was tectonic in origin with a depth of 104 kilometers.

Reported intensities were as follows:

Intensity IV- Calatagan, Batangas; Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro;

Intensity III – Batangas City, Lemery, Malvar and Bauan, Batangas; Tagaytay City and Amadeo, Cavite; Quezon City; City of Manila and Pasay City

Intensity II- Taguig City; Mandaluyong City; Makati City; Caloocan City; Malabon City; Tanay, Rizal; San Felipe, Zambales

Instrumental Intensities, on the other hand, reported the following:

Intensity IV – Calatagan, Batangas; Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro

Intensity III – Tagaytay City, Cavite; Plaridel, Bulacan; Batangas City; San Jose, Occidental Mindoro

Intensity II – San Ildefonso, Calumpit, and San Rafael, Bulacan; Carmona, Cavite; Muntinlupa City; Olongapo City; Malolos City, Bulacan; Dolores, Quezon; Talisay, Batangas

Intensity I – Pasig City; Quezon City; Las Piñas City; Malabon City; Marikina City; Guagua, Pampanga; Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija; Mulanay and Mauban, Quezon; Pandi and Marilao, Bulacan

Phivolcs said that there was no notable damage from the quake but aftershocks are likely to take place.

PHIVOLCS: Magnitude 5.3. quake jolts Batangas, others areas

Robie de Guzman   •   December 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.3 hit parts of Batangas and other nearby areas, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) said Monday.

In its earthquake bulletin, the PHIVOLCS said the quake was recorded approximately 24 kilometers southwest of Calatagan Batangas around 5:12 p.m.

The temblor had a depth of 99 kilometers and was tectonic in origin.

PHIVOLCS said Intensity 3 was felt in Quezon City while intensity 2 was felt in San Felipe in Zambales.

Instrumental Intensity 1 was felt in Quezon City, Tagaytay City, Batangas City, and Calatagan.

PHIVOLCS said no damage is expected from the quake but aftershocks are likely to occur.

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