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Quake atlas launched in Davao to help design sturdy buildings

/ 05:46 PM September 04, 2019

DAVAO CITY—An earthquake atlas that will help engineers, builders and planners design buildings to withstand the strongest projected earthquakes here is now available to the public and if properly tapped, could boost the city’s preparedness for strong earthquakes, a top science and technology official said.

Renato Solidum Jr., science and technology undersecretary for disaster risk reduction and climate change, said the Metro Davao Earthquake Model (MDEM) Atlas, which was launched here on Wednesday (Sept. 4) serves as reference for engineers in seismic designs of buildings and structures.

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It could be downloaded from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) website.

The atlas features a series of maps showing seismic ground motion hazard assessment from various earthquake sources in Davao City.

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Solidum, who also heads Phivolcs, said Metro Davao had been traversed by the Central Davao fault system composed of five major fault lines, which may produce earthquakes greater than magnitude 6.5.

Although the warning against the possibility of a big quake had largely been raised in Metro Manila, a major quake was also possible here because of the presence of major faults in the Davao region.

“We know there was a story of the big one in Metro Manila and other areas, but you in Davao will also have your own big ones because of the fact that there are so many faults within the region especially in Davao City,” said Solidum.

But he said that although people could not control when earthquakes strike, they can control its effects by understanding the hazards.

“Please note that earthquakes do not kill people but buildings that collapse or houses, do,” he said

Solidum said the atlas was the third that the DOST produced after those of Metro Cebu and Metro Manila. The DOST targeted these cities because of their rapid development.

“All the hazard maps for the entire Philippines was already completed in 2018, ready to be used by engineers,” he said.

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Vice Mayor Sebastian Duterte, in a message, lauded the project, saying it was timely especially since Davao City is now a magnet for investors in real estate and property development.

“We wish to sustain this spate of economic growth while increasing our disaster preparedness and risk reduction,” said the vice mayor in a statement read for hi by Alfredo Baloran, head of the Davao City disaster risk reduction and management office./TSB

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TAGS: Big One, buildings, Davao City, design, Fault Lines, Phivolcs, quakes
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