Japan provides PHL’s first real-time tsunami warning equipment

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) handed over to Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) this week the Philippines’ first real time tsunami warning equipment to help boost the Philippines’ disaster resiliency. Japan’s Ambassador to the Philippines H.E. Kazuhide Ishikawa, JICA Chief Representative in the Philippines Noriaki Niwa, Department of Science and Technology Asst. Sec. Raymund Liboro and PHIVOLCS Director Dr. Renato Solidum Jr. were present at the turn-over ceremony in MetroManila.

Amounting to one billion yen, the equipment is a major component of Japan’s grant-aid program that aims to help establish the first tsunami warning system in the Philippines using tsunami wave detectors, data transmission stations and computer-aided database development.

“Japan and the Philippines share common experiences when it comes to disasters so by sharing technology and expertise, JICA would like to continue helping the Philippines better prepare for disasters and other emergencies,” Niwa said.

The equipment is part of an earlier support to enhance Philippine resiliency through various related disaster risk reduction management equipment. In June 2014, eight pumping cars were given to Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) as part of the assistance.

The Philippines at present has limited information on tsunami risks generated by earthquakes. The equipment will help promote more comprehensive tsunami preparation measures like evacuations using accurate earthquake analysis.

Aside from the tsunami warning system, JICA is also providing PHIVOLCS an earthquake intensity meter as well as broadband strong motion seismometers to strengthen existing earthquake information system. Using timely information from the intensity meter will help enhance disaster operations immediately after the earthquake.

“The technology will support the Philippines in disseminating earthquake information with high accuracy and provide adequate warning to organizations and communities involved in disaster management,” Niwa noted.

The prototype of the Philippine Earthquake Intensity Scale calculation formula, the national standard in the Philippines, will be also installed in the earthquake warning equipment. This makes it possible to accurately calculate the earthquake’s magnitude and identify damages.