JUST IN: Philippines’ earthquake-prone areas, natural hazards mapped in new Phivolcs web tool

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Earthquake-prone areas Phivolcs web-based tool
GeoMapperPH allows government agencies to access data to make comprehensive, appropriate, and well-informed decisions and actions for disaster management and inform the public of disaster risk reduction and mitigation. Photo from DOST-PHIVOLCS documentation of the 1990 earthquake.

The Philippines’ earthquake-prone areas and natural hazards have been mapped in the new Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (DOST-PHIVOLCS) web-based tool, GeoMapperPH, launched Thursday.

GeoMapperPH was launched on July 16, 2020, marking 30 years since the 1990 massive earthquake experienced in the Philippines that produced a 125km-long ground rupture along the Digdig segment of the Philippine Fault.

In the virtual launch on Facebook, DOST-PHIVOLCS documented how the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that lasted 45 seconds of strong ground shaking, caused multiple structural damages in the hard-hit provinces of La Union, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, Baguio City, and in Metro Manila, Cordillera Administrative Region, and Bicol Region.

The GeoMapperPH is a web and mobile application designed to collect and update natural hazards, exposure, vulnerability, and coping capacity data.

GeoMapperPH is intended for use by government agencies to plan for disaster resilience. Screengrab from Phivolcs briefing.

The GeoMapper-Exposure Data Mapper and GeoMapper-Situation Data Mapper collect exposure data for populating the National Exposure Database, and information for situation reports of incidents and disasters.

The GeoMapperPH is among the apps developed under the GeoRiskPhilippines Initiative project of the DOST intended for government agencies’ use to make comprehensive, appropriate, and well-informed decisions and actions for disaster management and inform the public of disaster risk reduction and mitigation.

The GeoMapperPH features include:

  • Data visualization
  • Interusability with other applications
  • Real-time Updates
  • Data Collection
  • Offline usability
HazardHunterPH can be accessed by the public. Screengrab from Phivolcs briefing.

The new disaster management tool is being released a year after the publicly-accessible HazardHunter app was launched also on July 16, 2019, tp help Filipinoscaccess if their location is at risk for volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, and other hazards. The 2020 briefing also announced the improved features of the HazardHunter app.

Phivolcs director Renato Solidum Jr. shared the agency’s improved capability to continuously monitor tremors happening in the country.

Compared to three decades ago during the 1990 earthquake when Phivolcs only had 12 earthquake monitoring stations, the agency now has 104, Solidum said.

DOST previously hosted Project NOAH, the successful hazard and risk monitoring program developed by the University of the Philippines that has since been returned to the state university and is now dubbed the UP-Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (UP-NOAH).

UP had also made available to the public its open data on Taal Volcano following the January 2020 eruption.

SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below to DOST-PHIVOLCS for the GeoMapperPH and its initiatives to make data available for better disaster response and mitigation in the Philippines.

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