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Tsunami sensors installed in Lingayen Gulf

/ 08:36 PM June 10, 2012

DAGUPAN CITY—Pangasinan coastal residents may now be alerted in case a tsunami is generated by a strong earthquake in the West Philippine Sea.

Julius Galdiano, acting head of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) seismic station in Sinait, Ilocos Sur, said five tsunami sensors have been installed in the Lingayen Gulf to warn residents of impending disaster.

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“There are five more to be installed within the gulf, actually. But we are still identifying the places where these should be put,” said Galdiano, who attended the city’s stakeholders’ conference on climate change last week.

He said two tsunami sensors were installed in the waters off Bolinao, one in Lingayen and two in Dagupan, one of the major economic centers in the Ilocos.

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Galdiano said the tsunami warning system, which was developed by the Department of Science and Technology’s Advance Science and Technology Institute, will detect tsunamis that may be generated by the movement of the Manila Trench, an active fault line about 100 kilometers west of Bolinao.

Joan Salcedo, Phivolcs science research specialist, told the city council last month that based on studies of her agency, the Manila Trench could trigger an 8.3-magnitude earthquake that could spawn a 7-meter-high tsunami here.

Galdiano said Pangasinan’s coastline, which stretches from Infanta town in the south to San Fabian town in the north, is vulnerable to tsunamis because of past events.

Galdiano said the tsunami warning device consists of wet and dry sensors that detect sudden inundation or recession of seawater.

Data from the sensors are then transmitted through satellite technology to the Phivolcs data receiving center for evaluation and interpretation, and warning messages will be immediately relayed to coastal communities through mobile phones.

“With this system now in place, residents in coastal areas will have time to prepare [and evacuate],” Galdiano said.

A tsunami hazard map prepared by the Phivolcs shows that in the event of an 8.2-magnitude earthquake generated by the Manila Trench, tsunami height at the stretch of coastline from Infanta to Bolinao could be anywhere from 10.3 m to 11.88 m.  Gabriel Cardinoza, Inquirer Northern Luzon

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TAGS: Earthquake, Lingayen Gulf, News, Regions, Tsunami
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