Philvolcs allays fears on Mt. Iriga’s eruption

Mt. Iriga

IRIGA CITY – Mt. Iriga is an active volcano and if it is going to erupt, it will not be without warning signs, a Philvolcs volcanologist said here on Monday (March 28, 2011).

“There will be indicators, like changes in the surrounding vegetation, or the edifice of the mountain. People will notice.  We assure that if it is going to erupt, it will not be undetected,” said Eduardo P. Laguerta, resident volcanologist of the Philvolcs based at the Mayon Volcano Station in Legazpi City.

He  said that the monitoring stations of the Philvolcs in Masbate, Guinyangan in Quezon Province and in Legazpi, will most certainly detect any activity of the volcano which he said is active because its last recorded eruption happened within the past 10,000 years.

Laguerta was the guest of the Sangguniang Panlungsod in its regular session where he was invited to comment on a resolution sponsored by Kgd. Rodolfo L. Tino Jr., requesting the Philvolcs to “prioritize and place (an) Earthquake Intensity Meter in the City of Iriga.”

He said that the distribution of these meters is a joint project of the Philvolcs and the Japan International Cooperation Agency.  These meters, which are still being tested and calibrated at U.P. Diliman, will be installed in selected areas of the country, mostly those in the urban areas, with high population density; and with a known active fault line, he added.

The volcanologist also advised the council members that an initial institutional response of the city government to prepare for and mitigate the risks of disasters arising from natural causes like earthquakes, can be the activation and putting in place the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office.

Under Section 12 of R.A. 10121, or the Philippine Risk Reduction Management Act of 2010, local governments are mandated to organize such office.

Where such office is still not organized, Laguerta suggested that the city government put up a Technical Working Group, which will in the meantime implement the mandates of the regular local disastger risk reduction management office.

He said that while Iriga does not sit on a known active fault lines, there are at least three fault lines or trenches whose movement can affect the city.  These include the Bato-Linao lineament, the Caramoan fault line, and the Pacifice Trench. – fpj

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