The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) held a science education forum entitled “HandaAngMayAlam” to promote geohazard awareness and disaster preparedness among Boholano students.

This event took place at the Island City Mall activity center on Oct. 13 to inform students on the dangers of earthquakes and tsunamis, promote community preparedness measures, and proper response to hazards.

The Philippines, being under the Pacific Ring of Fire, experiences an average of 20 earthquakes per day, between 100 to 150 are felt per year, and has experienced 100 destructive ones for the past 400 years.

“Our region is susceptible to earthquake activities, as evidenced by the events of Oct. 2013.,” said Dr. Teresito Bacolcol, PHIVOLCS director.

Bacolcol added that natural hazards are inevitable and the next step Boholanos do when faced with one is to be prepared and be knowledgeable of what happens next.

“The first step in dealing with natural disasters is to acknowledge that these are natural and they are bound to happen, sa gusto man nato o dili, but just because they are unavoidable, it does not mean nga wala tay mahimo nga ma-lessen or remove the impact of these hazards,” said Bacolcol.

Attendees were oriented on earthquake scenarios and preparedness, with PHIVOLCS’ supervising science research specialist Jeffrey Perez as the resource speaker. Perez underscored what communities should do in preparing for the so-called “Big One” to mitigate potential casualties and infrastructure damages.

Senior science research specialist Charmaine Villamil discussed navigating PHIVOLCS’ applications as information channels to learn about geohazards.

The event was part of the national agency’s continuous information education campaign to create an informed and resilient Filipino community, capable of conducting proper responses to future natural hazards, and has adequate knowledge on earth science.

The “HandaAngMayAlam forum was made possible by PHIVOLCS, in partnership with the provincial government through the Provincial Information and Media Office and the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, the city government of Tagbilaran, through the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office; the Bohol Island UNESCO Global Geopark and the Alturas Group of Companies. This event was the last of the series of activities conducted by PHIVOLCS from Oct. 11-13, commemorating the 10th anniversary of the M 7.2 Bohol Earthquake that took place on Oct. 15, 2013. 

By: Gavin Michael Cubillo/ The Provincial Information and Media Office