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JDR Vol.10 No.1 pp. 5-7
(2015)
doi: 10.20965/jdr.2015.p0005

Editorial:

Special Issue on Enhancement of Earthquake and Volcano Monitoring and Effective Utilization of Disaster Mitigation Information in the Philippines

Hiroshi Inoue and Renato U. Solidum, Jr.

Published:
February 1, 2015

This special issue of JDR features 18 papers and reports on an international 2010 to 2015 cooperative project entitled gEnhancement of Earthquake and Volcano Monitoring and Effective Utilization of Disaster Mitigation Information in the Philippines.h This project is being conducted under the SATREPS program (Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development), cosponsored by the JST (Japan Science and Technology Agency) and JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency).

The Philippines is one of the worldfs most earthquake and volcano disaster-prone countries because it is located along the active boundary between the Philippine Sea Plate and Eurasian Plate. Collisions by the two plates generate plate subductions and crustal stress that generates earthquakes and volcanic activities on the archipelago.

The Philippines has experienced numerous disastrous earthquakes, the most recent being the 1990 M7.8 Luzon earthquake, which killed over 1,000 local residents. A damaging earthquake also occurred during this 5-year project, in October 2013, on Bohol Island, causing about 200 deaths when houses and other buildings collapsed.

Volcanoes are another major killer in the Philippines. The largest in the last century was when the Taal volcano erupted in 1911, killing 1,300 by a base surge. The 1991 Mt. Pinatubo eruption is known as the largest volcanic event in the 20th century. The Mayon volcano is also known to be a beautiful but dangerous volcano that frequently erupts, causing lahars ? steaming moving fluid masses of volcanic debris and water ? that damaged villages at the foot of the mountain.

The PHIVOLCS (Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology), a governmental agency mandated to monitor earthquakes and volcanoes, provides earthquake and volcano information and alerts to the public. It also conducts research on the mechanisms behind such natural phenomena and on evaluating such hazards and risks. The PHIVOLCSfs other mission is educating people and society on being prepared for disasters. Earthquake and volcano bulletins and alerts, research output, and educational materials and training provided by PHIVOLCS have enriched knowledge and enhanced measures against disaster.

The primary target of this SATREPS project is to enhance existing monitoring networks, whose equipment has been provided by Japanese ODA (Official Development Aid). Through the SATREPS project, we have introduced the latest technology to provide the public with more accurate information more quickly. This project also promotes research for deepening the understanding of earthquakes and volcano activities in better assessing hazard and risk.

Project components, tasks, and main Japanese organizations are as follows:

1) Earthquake and tsunami monitoring, NIED

1-1) Advanced real-time earthquake source information, Nagoya University

1-2) Real-time seismic intensity network, NIED

1-3) Tsunami monitoring and forecasting, NIED, JMA

2) Evaluation of earthquake generation potential, Kyoto University

2-1) Campaign and continuous GPS observation, Kyoto University, GSI

2-2) Geological and geomorphological studies of earthquake faults, Kyoto University

3) Integrated real-time monitoring of the Taal and Mayon volcanoes, Nagoya University

3-1) Seismic and infrasonic observation, Nagoya University

3-2) Continuous GPS monitoring, Kyoto University

3-3) Electromagnetic monitoring, Tokai University

4) Provision of disaster mitigation information and promotion of utilization, NIED

4-1) Simple seismic diagnosis, NIED

4-2) Tsunami victims interview manga (comic book form) and DVD, NIED

4-3) Disaster information portal site, NIED

*NIED: National Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention; JMA: Japan Meteorological Agency; GSI: Geospatial Information Authority of Japan

This issuefs first article by Melosantos et al., reports on results of installing a broadband seismometer network to provide seismic data used in the next two articles. Papers by Bonita and Punongbayan detail the results of SWIFT, a new earthquake source analysis system that automatically determines the location, size, and source mechanisms of moderate to large earthquakes. The report by Inoue et al. describes the development of the first instrumental intensity network system in the Philippines, followed by a report on its deployment and observation by Lasala et al. The article by Igarashi et al. describes the development of a tsunami simulation database for a local tsunami warning system in the Philippines.

The next five papers represent the 2) Earthquake Generation Potential project component. Ohkura et al. detail the results of campaign GPS observations on Mindanao Island, which first delineated the detailed plate movement and internal deformation of Mindanao. Tobita et al. report the results of the first continuous GPS observations across the Philippine Fault. The next three papers describe the results of geological and geomorphological studies of the Philippine Fault on Mindanao Island by Perez et al., the 1973 Ragay Gulf Earthquake by Tsutsumi, and submarine mapping of the Philippine Fault by Yasuda et al.. These results provide insights on the recurrence and sizes of large damaging earthquakes in different areas.

An electromagnetic study of the Taal volcano reported by Alanis et al. and the GPS monitoring of the Mayon volcano detailed by Takagi et al. are a part of intensive studies of these two volcanoes. Scientific research results were published in advance in other international journals by the research group concerning 3) Integrated Real-Time Volcano Monitoring of the Taal and Mayon Volcanoes. Real-time information on these volcanoes are telemetered to Manila and checked regularly as a part of standard operational procedures. Real-time earthquake and tsunami information by 1) Earthquake and Tsunami Monitoring has already been implemented in the monitoring system.

The last five papers and reports cover results for 4) Provision of Disaster Mitigation Information and Promotion of Utilization. Imai et al. report on a full-scale shaking table test of typical residential Philippines houses made of hollow concrete blocks. They demonstrate the importance of following building codes. A paper by Imai et al. introduces simple seismic diagnosis for masonry houses as a practical tool for raising peoplefs awareness of housing vulnerability to earthquakes. Salcedo et al. report a dissemination strategy for the practical tools. The last two papers, by Villegas, report on video interviews made with Philippino tsunami survivors in the Tohoku area following the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. The results are compiled and selected stories published in comic-book form as easy-to-understand educational materials on tsunami disaster awareness.

Information on earthquakes and volcanoes provided by the enhanced monitoring system, research output, and educational materials obtained through the SATREPS project are provided to stakeholders to enhance measures against disasters at various levels and in different timeframes.

Readers of this special issue can reference information through a newly established SATREPS project portal site, the PHIVOLCS Disaster Information Portal, at http://satreps.phivolcs.dost.gov.ph/. It can also be accessed from the PHIVOLCS web page at http://www.phivolcs.dost.gov.ph/.

Finally, I extend my sincere thanks to all authors and reviewers involved in this special issue.

Cite this article as:
H. Inoue, R. Solidum, and Jr., “Special Issue on Enhancement of Earthquake and Volcano Monitoring and Effective Utilization of Disaster Mitigation Information in the Philippines,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.10, No.1, pp. 5-7, 2015.
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Last updated on Oct. 18, 2019