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Negros Oriental, Leyte residents boost disaster preparedness

Negros Oriental, Leyte residents boost disaster preparedness

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  • Smart Communications conducted disaster preparedness trainings for Parishioners and students of Negros Oriental and Leyte
  • #SafePH training conducted by Smart help build the capacity of communities during calamities
  • The training was set just after a 6.1-magnitude earthquake hit Luzon and the Visayas in April.

Parishioners and students from Negros Oriental and Leyte recently participated in disaster preparedness trainings conducted in partnership with Smart Communications.

Close to 100 members of the clergy and lay people from the Diocese of Dumaguete attended Smart’s #SafePH training held in Ayungon, Negros Oriental.

The activity is part of Smart’s ongoing #SafePH series of disaster preparedness trainings to help build the capacity of communities during calamities.

The training was facilitated by Dr. Cedric Daep, head of the Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office (Apsemo), and Louie Domingo of Emergency Management Center.

Daep shared information on weather disturbances and the possible effects of earthquake and other hazards. There is still no proven scientific way to predict earthquakes, so it is important to make preparedness a way of life, according to Daep.

He also taught the participants how to develop project proposals for disaster mitigation in their own communities.

Domingo, meanwhile, taught the participants what to do before, during, and after a calamity and shared practical survival tips, from how to apply first aid and what to put in their emergency kits or “e-balde,” to how to protect themselves in times of danger.

The training was set just after a 6.1-magnitude earthquake hit Luzon and the Visayas in April.

In March, about 800 students of Eastern Visayas State University (EVSU) in Tacloban City also participated in a 2-day TNT Tropang Ready activity initiated by Smart. Resource speakers from the academe and local authorities shared with the students information about hazards and safety tips.

TNT Tropang Ready is a program that tours schools nationwide to help enhance the preparedness of the youth and develop them into preparedness ambassadors in their own communities. The program includes a series of talks, workshops, and teaching sessions integrated in their educational curriculum.

Smart promotes the culture of preparedness in communities with the help of technology as part of its #SafePH advocacy. It has initiated mobile solutions such as the Emergency Cell Broadcast System (ECBS) with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), and community caravans for the youth, families, and members of the Church, in the company’s efforts toward resilience.

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Man jokes about earthquake, fired from job

Man jokes about earthquake, fired from job

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A joke is a joke until it is not anymore. A man named Brian Velarde Dela Cruz was fired from his job because of a joke he made regarding the recent earthquake in the country.

“BORING NG LINDOL, WALA MAN LANG BUILDING NA BUMAGSAK”

“09650985443 MAGNITUDE KAYA PALA ANG LAKAS. HAYS, TM YAN”

The jokes went viral for several days on Facebook. Some found it funny but the majority found the jokes to be insensitive. People reported Brian to his company, Gong Cha, and everything went downhill from there.

According to the joker, the company called him to delete his post and issue a public apology. He was then called by his company and to his surprise, he was immediately fired from his job since the company felt that he disrespected their name, but he felt otherwise. He then said that the deleting of his posts and the issuing of the public apology was useless because he still got terminated.

Yung post ko na "BORING NG LINDOL, WALA MANLANG BUILDING NA BUMAGSAK" tsaka yung "09650985443 MAGNITUDE KAYA PALA ANG…

Posted by Brian Velarde DelaCruz on Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Yung mga nag-send ng screenshot at nagtulungan para mawala ako sa work, masaya na kayo? Yie. Ngingiti na yan sila. Ngiti na, hiya pa kayo eh. Kung nainis kayo, in-unfriend nyo nalang sana ako para di ka din na-stress sa mga post ko. Kung ayaw nyo sa mga post ko, block nyo ko, diba ang dali lang ng problema nyo,” he said.

Obviously he was not happy with the outcome of his actions. He goes on to say that his actions were influenced by the funny and nonsensical posts he sees on his Facebook news feed.

“WE ARE CALLED INDIVIDUAL BECAUSE WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT,” he said.

He says that people are different and that’s what makes us ‘individuals,’ some people are serious but he is not one of those people.

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Kris Aquino says ‘Mahihimatay yata ako’ as earthquake interrupts her interview that goes viral

Kris Aquino says ‘Mahihimatay yata ako’ as earthquake interrupts her interview that goes viral

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  • Kris Aquino’s interview that was interrupted by an earthquake had gone viral
  • She was very much concerned with her sons who stayed at home
  • She felt dizzy as the earthquake continued shaking, which made her feel vertigo

An earthquake shocked the people in Manila, and so with actress and TV host Kris Aquino who was in the middle of an interview, that has now gone viral online.

Aquino’s sons, Joshua and Bimby, stayed at home in Quezon City when the earthquake happened. As a mother, her first reaction was to check on her children, as she noted that their house’s location is near a faultline.

Netizens react

https://twitter.com/virgiliomanuelj/status/1121644177819758596

https://twitter.com/eunkwangee/status/1121694010068721664

https://twitter.com/jiro_pena/status/1120510779906826242

As seen on the uploaded YouTube video during her interview with showbiz journalist Leo Bukas, as the light flickered because of the earthquake, Aquino immediately said “Umuwi na tayo. I want to go home. My sons!”

With all her concern toward her sons, he asked the staff to call their home. Aquino managed to stay calm and joked about her luxurious bags collection.

It’s the end of the world na, I’m telling you. Buti na lang binili ko lahat ng Chanel na gusto ko bilhin. Buwisit, ang laki pa ng tax na binayaran ko!” she said.

The actress felt dizzy as the shaking continued and asked for her oral medication as said she felt “vertigo.”

“Utang na loob, mahihimatay yata ako. Ang pangit nito. At iyon na ang kuwento niyo — ni-rush sa ospital dahil nahilo. Ang chaka!” she said.

Aquino’s interview was to discuss her personal issues which include her health condition, political stance, and future projects.

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Can we really predict earthquakes?

Can we really predict earthquakes?

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After two earthquakes shook parts of Southern and Eastern Mindanao last month and  several deep sea creatures were washed up in several coasts in the Philippines, conspiracy theorists can’t help but believe that a magnitude 7.2 earthquake, dubbed as the “Big One”, will soon jolt parts of Luzon.

Are these signs that the strong earthquake is coming?

Are we really capable of predicting earthquakes?

Seismologist can forecast where major earthquakes are likely to take place based on the movement of the plates in the Earth as well as the location of fault zones. By looking at the history of earthquakes in the region and by detecting where pressure is building along fault lines, they can also make general predictions where earthquake may happen in a certain area.

However, these forecasts are not 100% reliable since strain is released along one part of a fault system and may actually increase strain on another part.

Today, most earthquake predictions are still vague and seismologists had more success in forecasting aftershocks based on extensive research of aftershock patterns.

Currently, seismologists are looking at the possibility of predicting earthquakes based on the relationship of magnetic and electrical charges in rock material and earthquakes. They hypothesized that electromagnetic fields change just before an earthquake occurs.

Furthermore, seismologists are the studying potential warning signs of earthquakes like gas seepage and the tilting of the ground.

While no technology can accurately predict earthquake, major advances have been achieved in earthquake preparedness to minimize injuries, deaths as well as loss of properties.

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Disaster Preparedness: Common mistakes and safety tips (part 2 of a 2-part series)

Disaster Preparedness: Common mistakes and safety tips (part 2 of a 2-part series)

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In part 1 of our 2 part series, this writer discussed tips discussed by Jerry Carual, Founding President of SARUF (Search And Rescue Unit Foundation, Inc.,) on keeping your family safe during disasters. In this final part of the series, we’ll tackle common mistakes and safety tips.

Three things to keep in mind to keep calm during disasters. (Photo courtesy of Bernard Kenneth Pena.)
Three things to keep in mind to keep calm during disasters. (Photo courtesy of Bernard Kenneth Pena.)

The biggest mistake committed before disasters occur is preparing for only one kind of disaster. As we all know, disasters are varied and almost always come without warning. We must be prepared for any event, be it a flood, fire, earthquake, or accidents.

Other mistakes include: 1) Running out of or not stocking up on medicine. In case this happens, Carual states that it’s best that one familiarizes oneself with plants and their medicinal purposes. 2) Talking too much about your plans. When it’s every man for himself, be prepared for a struggle if you’ve been telling all and sundry that you’ve stocked up on supplies. 3) Not having a plan. 4) Not evacuating when evacuation is the only option left. 5) Neglecting home security. 6) Not purifying water before drinking. 7) Breaking the law. When order is finally established, you might find yourselves accountable for mistakes you’ve made while in a state of panic.

Demonstrating how to crawl away from danger while carrying an infant. (Photo courtesy of Bernard Kenneth Pena.)
Demonstrating how to crawl away from danger while carrying an infant. (Photo courtesy of Bernard Kenneth Pena.)

Here are a few other tips and things to keep in mind:

1) Movement is the key to survival. As long as you are strong enough to move, you must continually move to get yourself out of danger.
2) The Triangle of Life (TOL) is still valid in a country like ours where building codes are not strictly followed and the quality of construction materials used are questionable. To execute the TOL, brace your back against a sturdy object and drop to a fetal position.
3) Keep in mind these two after-survival or after-disaster threats: hunger and people, it will be every man for himself, be prepared to defend the resources that you are left with.
4) When indoors during an earthquake, remember that the wall is your lifeline. If executing the drop, cover, hold, Carual emphasizes to add an extra step: drop, cover, hold and push the table you’re ducking under to the wall. Or drop, cover, hold, and crawl to the wall.
5) An alternative to the hands-over-head posture during earthquakes is the tripod position. It is similar to a runner’s starting position during a race, wherein one leg is on a kneeling position, one foot is on the ground and one (tripod) or both (quadpod) hands are on the ground as well. This way, you are ready to move should danger present itself and your peripheral vision is not compromised.

Demonstrating the tripod stance, which could prove vital during earthquakes. (Photo courtesy of Bernard Kenneth Pena.
Demonstrating the tripod stance, which could prove vital during earthquakes. (Photo courtesy of Bernard Kenneth Pena.

The type of seminar attended was a one-day, family-centered one with applied experience-based training and sharing of testimonies by actual survivors. The event was capped off with a realistic simulation of an earthquake, wherein participants had to crawl their way to safety in total darkness accompanied by actual, deafening earthquake sounds; all while trying to calm down your child who was going through the simulation with you. It might have been just a simulation, but it was no cake walk, trust me. Should you, your company, or school wish to invite SARUF to conduct a similar seminar, you may get in touch with Jerry Carual via these numbers: 09082918286 / 09234688666 / 025451807. Or visit the SARUF website at www.saruf.ph

The author learning to administer CPR. Photo courtesy of Bernard Kenneth Pena.
The author learning to administer CPR. Photo courtesy of Bernard Kenneth Pena.

Part 1 of the Disaster Preparedness Series.

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Disaster Preparedness: Keeping yourself and your family safe (part 1 of a 2-part series)

Disaster Preparedness: Keeping yourself and your family safe (part 1 of a 2-part series)

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Last weekend, this writer attended a Disaster Preparedness for the Family Seminar at the South City Central School in Parañaque City, conducted by members of SARUF (Search and Rescue Unit Foundation, Inc.)

The main speaker was the founding President of SARUF, Jerry Carual. He also served as Director IV under the Office of the President in Malacanang from 2001 to 2010, and boasts of numerous credentials, certifications (both from here and abroad,) and awards including three Bronze Cross Medals from the Philippine Army for risking his life during disasters.

The seminar was conducted by SARUF (Search And Rescue Unit Foundation, Inc.)
The seminar was conducted by SARUF (Search And Rescue Unit Foundation, Inc.)

Carual states that to secure your family during disasters, you must first secure yourselves. To accomplish this, one must have the right attitude and mental toughness. Individual preparedness before disasters include: 1) Defining disaster potential, 2) Staying informed, 3) Acquiring training, 4) Developing a plan (weighing, for example, if your family is better off staying in place or do you evacuate?)

In the event of evacuation, it is vital to prepare a family go-bag. A child’s go-bag may contain the following items essential to survival such as: 1) a helmet (protection from falling debris. Also frees the child’s hands for movement, instead of using his hands for cover,) 2) goggles (to see clearly if encountering dust and smoke,) 3) dust mask, 4) thermal blanket, 5) flashlight, 6) whistle, 7) food, and 8) water.

Invest in equipment such as a helmet and dust mask, these could prove vital to your child's survival during disasters. (Photo by the author.)
Invest in equipment such as a helmet and dust mask, these could prove vital to your child’s survival during disasters. (Photo by the author.)

An adult’s everyday carry kit, on the other hand, may contain: 1) a wallet and call cards contained in a water-proof case, 2) a Swiss knife, 3) rope, 4) signaling devices such as a flashlight or a laser light, a whistle, and/or a mirror. These should be put in a dry bag or waterproof bag. Carual emphasizes that survival is directly proportional to preparation. Meaning that if you prepare supplies for one day, you only survive for one day; if you prepare for three days, you survive for three days; and so on and so forth.

Demonstrating how to properly immobilize the neck when helping victims of a fall or vehicular accidents. (Photo by the author.)
Demonstrating how to properly immobilize the neck when helping victims of a fall or vehicular accidents. (Photo by the author.)

Carual was quick to stress, however, that there are different kinds of disaster go-bags for there are different kinds of eventualities depending on the situation you are facing. Aside from the everyday carry kit, there is also a 72-Hour Disaster Kit packed with essentials that will take you from point A to point B. And an Inch Bag, or what he calls the “I’m not coming home” bag, for when you have to leave the area and have no more plans of coming back.

Part 2 of the series, common mistakes and disaster tips can be read here.

Preparing to carry a victim of a fall or vehicular accident. (Photo by the author.)
Preparing to carry a victim of a fall or vehicular accident. (Photo by the author.)

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PHIVOLCS: No one can tell when the West Valley Fault quake will happen

PHIVOLCS: No one can tell when the West Valley Fault quake will happen

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The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS-DOST) has officially issued a statement regarding the rumors that circulated on social media only a few days ago about how the West Valley Fault earthquake would be occurring sometime between July 27 and 29.

Read: Netizens post predictions and warnings on West Valley Fault quake

PHIVOLCS clarified that there is no “land monitoring” division in their organization and they do not issue official predictions of an impending earthquake. “At present, the science of earthquake prediction has not yet matured to the point that imminent earthquakes can be predicted [time, location, and size of earthquakes] using a rational model. There is no technology in the world that can reliably predict the occurrence of earthquakes,” PHIVOLCS said in their Facebook post. In fact, it can be seen on the message that the name of PHIVOLCS was clearly misspelled as PHILVOLCS.

Furthermore, PHIVOLCS condemned the act of spreading rumors without any factual basis, saying the original sender of the message from “PHILVOLCS” “obviously seek[s] to deceive and create panic among the recipients of this hoax message so that it would be forwarded to relatives and friends.”

Netizen Iahs Alcular, who posted a warning to residents of Taguig to evacuate the city on July 29 because the US would allegedly be conducting a solution to the earthquake problem, has been warned by PHIVOLCS.

In a separate post, PHIVOLCS said Alcular may be in violation of a law regarding the spreading of false or misleading information, possibly Section 6(a) of Republic Act 10639 [“The Free Mobile Disaster Alerts Act”.]

“In case the national government may decide to pursue legal action, we are collecting information about yourself, your 440 Facebook friends and posts related to your earthquake message, including the 1,192 Facebook accounts that willfully shared your post,” the post read.

Netizens have commended PHIVOLCS for their quick response to the rumors going about. The last thing the public needs is misleading information which may cause mass panic–a situation which may be as dangerous as an earthquake itself.

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Netizens post predictions and warnings on West Valley Fault quake

Netizens post predictions and warnings on West Valley Fault quake

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With news that the West Valley Fault is ready to shift any day, it is no wonder that rumors of an earthquake about to hit have sprouted up all over. There are, of course, safety measures the government is trying to implement to make citizens as ready as possible for the calamity, such as the earthquake drill which will be held on July 30.

Netizen Iahs Alcular, however, posted something rather different. In her post, she shared how residents of Taguig should evacuate the city on July 29 as the US will be conducting a solution to the earthquake problem. Supposedly, this activity will prevent the earthquake from coming (quote: “para maiwasan ang dadating na lindol“), thus saving Taguig, which is at great risk of being hit. According to Alcular, the US detected where the West Valley Fault was actually located and they will be testing the area. Elementary schools were advised to cancel classes on the 29th.

quake

Another netizen Jonelle Atienza posted screenshots of messages passed on to her, this time regarding how the earthquake may hit anytime from July 27 to July 29.

q3

In times like this, there is no need to cause more panic or alarm in people with posts without any solid facts. There are no current press releases by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) saying the US will be conducting tests in order to “prevent” the earthquake, nor when the earthquake will most likely hit. Truth be told, there are no ways to prevent quakes nor to predict when they will be happen.

As always, the best thing to do is to just be prepared and have plans to execute when the need arises, such as the July 30 metro-wide “Walk the Fault” by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Phivolcs, and Metro Manila local government units to increase awareness among local residents on how to survive a major earthquake in case it hits the National Capital Region.

 

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‘Lindol! Handa ka na ba?’ raises awareness on earthquake risks

‘Lindol! Handa ka na ba?’ raises awareness on earthquake risks

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Oxin Entertainment Productions recently released a short film titled, Lindol! Handa ka na ba? directed by studio owner Sean Lim. The team aims to produce a series of short films about earthquake awareness in Manila, especially regarding the movement of the Valley Fault System (VFS). The VFS is composed of the East Valley Fault, which runs through Rizal, and the West Valley Fault, which runs through Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, and Laguna. The movement of these faults can generate a magnitude 7.2 earthquake which poses threat to peoples lives, buildings and infrastructures, and livelihood. The strength of a 7.2-magnitude earthquake is similar to the earthquake which occurred in Nepal earlier in the year.

Starring Yul Servo, Rowena Mate, Martin Buen, and Theresa Nisperos Whymark, the film’s story revolves around the character “Madame” (Mate), the first lady of the Republic of the Philippines who is asked by her husband President Franco Ledesma to attend a public event in Cavite as his representative. Despite the fact that she dreads politics and the pressure the public’s eye is putting on their family,  she grants her husband’s request. Joined by her secretary (Whymark), a member of her presidential security group Rodel (Servo), and her driver Jordan (Buen), the first lady travels to Cavite when the earthquake hits. According to the synopsis, the first lady “embarks on her final trip to fulfill her duties as a wife and a public figure to a distressed society where the fault of one person in power can shake and break the grounds where its people’s values are anchored.”

As Lim puts it:

Lindol is a story that tests the firmness of the human soul when it is placed in a situation that is more than just life threatening. When an earthquake struck the metro and all that is left are fragments of all the hard work, dreams, and aspirations of its people; the gap between the upper class and lower class is closed. Status quo proves to be a worthless concept that does nothing more but create a false perception that one is greater than the other. Lindol showcases the vim of the human spirit when shaken and when suffering and death is already certain.

What will be there left to say if hope’s gone? Who will matter most in your life? And how would you like to live your last moments?

Oxin is a production company specializing in the production of corporate audio-visual presentations (AVPs), music videos, and independent and mainstream movies in both the local and international scenes. The company is headed by Sean Lim, a director/producer, fashion-photographer, and talent all in one.

Banner photo from a screen cap of the film as uploaded in YouTube.

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PHIVOLCS releases list of barangays in earthquake zone

PHIVOLCS releases list of barangays in earthquake zone

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The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) recently released the Valley Fault System (VFS) Atlas, a collection of detailed large-scale maps that illustrates the areas that are near an earthquake fault.

The VFS Atlas listed the following as the barangays in the earthquake zone:

list

The VFS is composed of the East Valley Fault, which runs through Rizal, and the West Valley Fault, which runs through Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, and Laguna. The West Valley Fault can generate a large earthquake with magnitude 7.2 which poses threat to peoples lives, buildings and infrastructurs, and livelihood. The strength of a 7.2-magnitude earthquake can be attributed to the earthquake which recently occurred in Nepal.

The last earthquake that can be related to the movement of the faults happened in 1658, 357 years ago, which very nearly falls into the regular interval of 400-600 years when earthquakes occur. PHIVOLCS Director Renato U. Solidum Jr. admitted the possibility of the earthquake occurring in this lifetime. While the exact period can never pinpointed, Solidum urges the public to be aware and be ready. “The Valley Fault System Atlas was conceptualized as a handy reference for everyone to serve as a guide in making sure that areas traversed by active faults are avoided as sites of houses and structures and considered in various mitigation and response actions to enhance the safety and resilience of communities to strong earthquake events,” said Solidum.

According to PHIVOLCS, the location of active faults is a major basis for people’s preparedness for earthquakes, appropriate land use, contingency planning for disaster response, and design of houses, buildings, and infrastructure. Future development needs to consider these faults so people won’t be at risk.

Banner photo courtesy of GMA News Online.

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