Awareness for Natural Disasters

The aim of this symposium was to inform the students, faculty members, administrators and those of general services of the necessary precautions to prevent further damage that may happen ring earthquakes. Information, preparedness and understanding of these natural hazards are needed to reduce the loss of life and limb. An earthquake is the sudden, rapid shaking or rolling of the Earth. In the Philippines, about 20 earthquakes are recorded per day and 200 per year. For the past 400 years, the Philippines had experienced about 90 destructive earthquakes one for every five years.

Earthquakes happen because of volcanic activity and tectonic movements. It results to fault rupture, tsunami, ground shaking, liquefaction, landslide and fire. Faults- fractures where earthquake originates, there are different types of fault: strike slip, normal and thrust. Active faults move up & down while trenches move toward each other. The Valley Fault System has two segments, the East Valley Fault the West Valley Fault which covers Guenon, Marking, Passing Magmata, Patters, Tagging and Mutational.

It has moved four times from the past 1600 years (an average of 400 years) per movement, generating earthquakes of magnitude Magnitude is the energy released at origin which differs from intensity- the perceived strength at the surface. Epicenter is the point at the earth surface erectly above where the earthquake generated while focus- center of energy released during an earthquake are some of the terms encountered in the study of earthquakes.

Ground Shaking can be of primary wave- compression’s / vertical motion disturbance or of secondary wave- transverse disturbance, a combination of horizontal and vertical motions. Liquefaction- loose of water rich sediments like liquid; the ground loses strength and structures built on top of it may sink or tilt. Subsidence, lateral spreading and rise of buried pipes/ tanks are some effects of it. Landslide- is the down slope event of rock and soil. Fire outbreaks- caused by electrical short-circuit, toppling of lamps, candles and explosions.

Tsunamis- high sea waves or seismic waves because of submarine landslides and eruption, meteor impact and vertical displacement of the ocean floor; can result to damage to properties, flooding in coastal areas and drowning. These are all effects and hazards of an earthquake occurrence that is why preparation is a must for the preservation of life and lessening of damage to oneself. Earthquake preparedness is beneficial to everyone for it makes a person ready for the Seibel effects and to save others in need and yourself.

One should be familiar with the exits routes or evacuation plans of a building and of safe and dangerous spots during an earthquake. In mitigation measure (construction), planning where the building or house will be built should not be in areas prone to liquefaction/ landslides and in active faults or it is at least five meters away from the fault trace as a buffer zone. Construction should involve proper structural design and engineering practice and if the building has been constructed, structural integrity must be checked and retrofit if accessory.

Also, secure hanging & heavy objects, strap or bolt heavy furniture, check the stability of hanging objects, breakable items and harmful chemicals and flammable materials- are stored at the low post part of the shelf. Emergency kit is a must have. It should have the following inside: first aid with water purification bottle, AM/FM radio, Water and high-energy foods, tools and ropes, candles and flashlights, blankets, tissue paper and waste bags, pencil and paper and a whistle. During an earthquake (inside a building) remember this: drop-cover-hold.

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