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DOST gives fault system Atlas to local government units

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The Department of Science and Technology- Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) launched and distributed the Valley Fault System (VFS) Atlas to local government officials recently at the PHIVOLCS office in Diliman, Quezon City.

The Valley Fault System (VFS) Atlas is a handbook of large scale maps showing in detail areas traversed by the Valley Fault System, an active fault system in the Greater Metro Manila Area (GMMA). The fault system has two fault traces: the 10 km long East Valley Fault in Rizal and the 100 km long West Valley Fault that runs through different cities and towns in Bulacan, Rizal, Metro Manila, Cavite and Laguna. The West Valley Fault can generate a large earthquake which poses threat to people’s lives, buildings, infrastructure, and livelihood.

According to Dr. Renato U. Solidum, Jr., director of DOST-PHIVOLCS, 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. Such sites include houses and structures that are considered in various mitigation and response actions.

Response actions, according to Dr. Solidum, enhance the safety and resilience of communities to strong earthquake events.

The atlas shows the actual fault line that runs through a few cities in the metro. Thus, by knowing where the active fault lies “is the key to people’s awareness and preparedness for earthquakes, appropriate land use, contingency planning for disaster response, and design of houses, buildings and infrastructures.”

The importance of the VFS Atlas to local governments is stressed by National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Executive Director Undersecretary Alexander P. Pama who said, “Through the publication of this Atlas, which specifies the position and location of the Valley Fault System in GMMA, we have taken a leap forward in reducing risk from earthquake.”

“This tool will help us closer to achieving the goal of our national DRRM effort to build safer, disaster-resilient and climate-change adaptive communities throughout the country,” Pama added.

In 2012, PHIVOLCS revisited the VFS as one of the component activities of the AusAID-funded GMMA Ready Project under the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and implemented by member agencies of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. The mapping efforts discovered new fault traces and validated previously mapped traces of the VFS. (S&T Media Service)

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