Sunday, June 16, 2019

PDRRMO's Response Capacity

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MOA with NFA

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) MOA Signingand the National Food Authority (NFA) entered into an agreement that the former shall procure rice from the latter in times of calamities in the province of Batangas.  The signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was highlighted during the 2018 1st Quarter PDRRM full Council Meeting last April 4, 2018.

Hon. Hermilando I. Mandanas, Governor and Chairperson of the PDRRMC represented the provincial government while Mr. Miguel S. Tecson, Provincial Manager, signed in behalf of the National Food Authority.  

Gov. Mandanas stressed that everytime a calamity affects our province, our people's concern is for food, particularly rice.  The Governor appreciated the efforts of the National Food Authority to support the province of Batangas for cheaper price of rice.  Although we have enough supply of rice in the province due to supply of our neigboring provinces like Mindoro.  He further reported that the rice production of Batangas Province is less than 20% of its actual consumption.

Full context of this MOA shall be uploaded under the "About PDRRMO" menu soon.


    tsunami waves

    The phenomenon we call tsunami is a series of large waves of extremely long wavelength and period usually generated by a violent, impulsive undersea disturbance or activity near the coast or in the ocean.  When a sudden displacement of a large volume of water occurs, or if the sea floor is suddenly raised or dropped by an earthquake, big tsunami waves can be formed.   The waves travel out of the area of origin and can be extremely dangerous and damaging when they reach the shore.  

    The word tsunami (pronounced tsoo-nah'-mee) is composed of the Japanese words "tsu" (which means harbor) and "nami" (which means "wave").  Often the term, "seismic or tidal sea wave" is used to describe the same phenomenon, however the terms are misleading, because tsunami waves can be generated by other, non seismic disturbances such as volcanic eruptions or underwater landslides, and have physical characteristics different of tidal waves.   The tsunami waves are completely unrelated to the astronomical tides - which are caused by the extraterrestrial, gravitational influences of the moon, sun, and the planets.  Thus, the Japanese word "tsunami", meaning "harbor wave" is the correct, official and all-inclusive term.   It has been internationally adopted because it covers all forms of impulsive wave generation.

    Tsunami waves often look like walls of water and can attack the shoreline and be dangerous for hours, with waves coming every 5 to 60 minutes.  The first wave may not be the largest, and often it is the 2nd, 3rd, 4th or even later waves that are the biggest.  After one wave inundates, or floods inland, it recedes seaward often as far as a person can see so the seafloor is exposed.  The next wave then rushes ashore within minutes and carries with it many floating debris that were destroyed by previous waves.  When waves enter harbors, very strong and dangerous water currents are generated that can easily break ship moorings, and bores that travel far inland can be formed when tsunamis enter rivers or other waterway channels.

    From International Tsunami Information Center

  • Why do some earthquakes kill hundreds or thousands of people while others do little damage? There are several factors that determine just how destructive an earthquake can be:

    Location: This one is kind of obvious—an earthquake that hits in a populated area is more likely to do damage than one that hits an unpopulated area or the middle of the ocean.

    Magnitude: Scientists assign a number to represent the amount of seismic energy released by an earthquake. The Richter magnitude scale, as it is known, is logarithmic, so each step up represents an increase in energy of a factor of 10. The more energy in an earthquake, the more destructive it can be.

    Depth: Earthquakes can happen anywhere from at the surface to 700 kilometers below. In general, deeper earthquakes are less damaging because their energy dissipates before it reaches the surface. The recent New Zealand earthquake is thought to have occurred at a more shallow depth than the one last year.

    Distance from the epicenter: The epicenter is the point at the surface right above where the earthquake originates and is usually the place where the earthquake’s intensity is the greatest.

    Local geologic conditions: The nature of the ground at the surface of an earthquake can have a profound influence on the level of damage. Loose, sandy, soggy soil, like in Mexico City, can liquefy if the shaking is strong and long enough, for example. That doesn’t bode well for any structures on the surface.

    Secondary effects: Earthquakes can trigger landslides, fires, floods or tsunamis. It was not the 2004 Sumatran-Andaman earthquake that caused so much damage in 2004 but the Indian Ocean tsunami it triggered. Nearly a quarter of a million people in 14 countries were killed when coastal communities were inundated by the water.

    Architecture: Even the strongest buildings may not survive a bad earthquake, but architecture plays a huge role in what and who survives a quake. The January 2010 Haiti earthquake, for example, was made far worse by poor construction, weak cement and unenforced building codes.

  • What is happening at Batangas Province?

    A phenomenon called earthquake swarm is currently happening at Batangas.  An earthquake swarm is a burst of earthquake activity clustered in a specific area in a short period of time due to movement of a fault. The Batangas swarm started on 4 April at 8:58 PM, and is still ongoing to date.

    Large-magnitude earthquakes have also affected Batangas in the past!

    At least six large earthquakes had affected Batangas province – the Mindoro earthquakes of November 15, 1994, April 9, 1942, and May 26, 1889, and the earthquakes of April 26, 1972, October 1, 1869, and September 16, 1852 whose epicenters were located in West Philippine Sea. The 1994 Magnitude 7.1 Mindoro Earthquake was felt at intensity VII in the epicentral areas and may have shaken Batangas at intensities of V to VI or even VII while the 1889 Magnitude 6.4 Earthquake was felt at Intensity VI-VII in Mindoro and Batangas. The 1852 Magnitude 7.6 and 1869 Magnitude 6.6 offshore events were reportedly felt at Intensity VII in and around Batangas. Although there were no accounts of direct damage in Batangas due to the 1994, 1972, and 1942 events, the 1852, 1869 and 1889 events damaged several buildings and infrastructures in the area.

    Why do earthquakes occur at Batangas?

    Batangas is one of the seismically active areas in the Philippines.  Instrumental monitoring of earthquakes for the past century has detected many small to large-magnitude earthquakes near Batangas generated by the Manila Trench and Lubang Fault.  The Manila Trench is an earthquake generator located offshore west of Luzon Island, roughly parallel to the Philippine archipelago in the north but veers very close to land at the southern tip of Occidental Mindoro.  Another offshore earthquake generator is Lubang Fault, located between Mindoro Island and Batangas, which is also the locus of small to large-magnitude earthquakes.  Other active faults on land are present in Southern Luzon, such as the Valley Fault System and the Philippine Fault. The current series of earthquakes in Batangas can be attributed to the movement of an unnamed local fault in the vicinity of the Tingloy-Mabini area.

    Can these present earthquakes indicate volcanic activity?

    No. Although Taal Volcano is located approximately 30 kilometers from Mabini, Batangas, the present network of instruments located in and around Taal Volcano shows no indication of any significant change of monitoring parameters suggesting renewed magmatic activity. However, as part of PHIVOLCS’ monitoring procedures for moderately large earthquakes occurring near active volcanoes, the institute will closely monitor these earthquake events in relation to any activity that may be monitored in Taal Volcano.

    Can these recent earthquake events trigger a destructive tsunami?

    No. The magnitude is not big enough to generate a destructive tsunami.

    Can human activity such as geothermal drilling, blasting, etc.  trigger large earthquakes along active faults?

    No. Hypocenters of moderate- to large-magnitude earthquakes along active faults are too deep to be influenced by any human activity.

    What can we expect from the current earthquake activity?

    Small to moderate magnitude earthquake events can still occur in the following days to weeks.

    What should we do?

    The best course of action is preparedness – the damaging effects of earthquakes can be minimized if we prepare ourselves for the event.  Because a large-magnitude earthquake, either from active faults in Luzon or the Manila Trench may affect Batangas as a whole, it is always prudent to prepare for such an eventuality.

    What can we expect in the event of a large-magnitude/high-intensity earthquake?

    Strong ground shaking may cause extensive damage to, or even the collapse of houses, buildings, bridges, and other infrastructures.  Collapsed structures usually account for most of the casualties during a strong earthquake.  Falling objects may also cause injuries.

    Aside from strong ground shaking, what other seismic hazards are life threatening?

    Landslides, rock falls, and other types of mass movements may occur in mountainous or hilly areas.  Liquefaction manifested by sandboils or lateral spreading may affect low-lying, waterlogged, sandy areas near the coast or at the banks of rivers.

    What is the role of PHIVOLCS?

    PHIVOLCS operates and maintains a network of 93 seismic stations spread across the Philippines. Twelve of these seismic stations are located in or around Batangas. Four of which are staffed-controlled located in Puerto Galera, Tagaytay, and Lucban and Guinayangan in Quezon and seven are remote seismic stations located in Lubang and San Jose in Mindoro, Busuanga and Cuyo in Palawan, Romblon, Marinduque and San Andres in Quezon.  Data from the seismic stations are used to determine the locations of earthquakes, as well as the characteristics of the earthquakes generated. We also have a volcano monitoring network in and around Taal that could record seismic activity.

    Aside from monitoring the occurrences of earthquakes, PHIVOLCS also conducts hazards analyses and assessment, and makes this information available to the public.  PHIVOLCS works hand-in-hand with other government agencies in mitigating the damaging effects of earthquakes.

    Please visit our website at for earthquake bulletins, volcano updates, and other information on earthquakes and volcanoes.

What is Vehicle Extrication?

VexPixVehicle extrication is the process of removing a vehicle from around a person who has been involved in a motor vehicle accident, when conventional means of exit are impossible or inadvisable. A delicate approach is needed to minimize injury to the victim during the extrication. This operation is typically accomplished by using chocks and bracing for stabilization and hydraulic tools, including the Jaws of Life.

The basic extrication process consists of, but is not limited to, six steps:

  • the protection of the accident scene, to avoid a risk of another collision (marking out the scene with cones or flares (not advisable if gasoline is leaking), lighting) and of fire (e.g. switching off the ignition, putting vehicle in park, disconnecting the battery, placing absorbing powder on oil and gasoline pools, fire extinguisher and fire hose ready to use);
  • patient triage and initial medical assessment of the patient by a qualified medical rescuer;
  • securing the vehicle to prevent the unexpected movement (e.g. falling in a ditch), and the movements of the suspension, either of which could cause an unstable trauma wound or cause injury to the rescuers; a vehicle should never be moved, it should always be secured.
  • the opening of the vehicle and the deformation of the structure (such as removing a window) to allow the intervention of a first responder, of a paramedic or of a physician inside the vehicle to better assess the patient and begin care and also to release a possible pressure on the casualty;
  • removal of a section of the vehicle (usually the roof or door) to allow for safe removal of the accident victim, especially respecting the head-neck-back axis (rectitude of the spine);
  • removal of the person from the vehicle

In less complicated cases, it is possible to extricate the casualty without actually cutting the vehicle, such as removing a person from the side door or another part of the vehicle.

As soon as possible, best before beginning the mechanical operation, a medically trained person enters the cabin to perform first aid on the casualty: mid-level assessment, stopping the bleeding, putting a cervical collar on the patient (extrication operations are likely to provoke vibrations), providing oxygen first aid. In France, this rescuer is called the "squirrel" (écureuil). NFPA regulation 1006 and 1670 state that all "rescuers" must have medical training to perform any technical rescue operation, including cutting the vehicle itself. Therefore, in almost all rescue environments, whether it is an EMS Department or Fire Department that runs the rescue, the actual rescuers who cut the vehicle and run the extrication scene are Medical First Responders, Emergency Medical Technicians, or Paramedics, as a motor vehicle accident has a patient involved.

After the vehicle has been secured and access gained to the patient, the EMS team then enters to perform more detailed medical care. Continued protection of the patient from extrication itself, using hard and soft protection, should be done at all times. The deformation of the structure and the section of the roof take several minutes; this pre-extrication time can be used for medical or paramedical acts such as intubation or placing an intravenous drip. When the casualty is in cardiac arrest, cardiopulmonary resuscitation can be performed during the freeing, the casualty being seated. The use of this incompressible duration is sometimes called play and run, as a compromise between scoop and run (fast evacuation to a trauma center) and stay and play (maximum medical care onsite).

The last step is usually performed with a long spine board: the casualty is pulled up on it. An extrication splint (KED) can help to immobilise the spine during this operation.