To mark 30th year of Luzon quake, gov’t unveiling natural hazards app

To commemorate the devastating 1990 Luzon earthquake on its 30th year, the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (DOST-Phivolcs) announced that it will launch a new app called GeoMapperPH on Thursday, July 16.

The Hyatt Terraces Hotel in Baguio City collapsed during the July 16, 1990 Luzon earthquake. Photo courtesy of DOST-Phivolcs

On July 16, 1990, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake badly hit the provinces of La Union, Pangasinan, NuevaEcija and Baguio City, and as far as Metro Manila, Cordillera Administrative Region, and Bicol Region.

The earthquake produced a 125 kilometer-long ground rupture along the Digdig segment of the Philippine Fault. The 45-second strong ground shaking caused multiple structural damages including the collapse of the Hyatt Hotel in Baguio City. Around 1,200 people were killed by the various impacts.

Phivolcs said its latest technology tool, GeoMapperPH, is a Web and mobile app designed to collect and update natural hazards, exposure, vulnerability, and coping capacity data. It allows authorities to make comprehensive, appropriate, and well-informed decisions and actions for disaster management.

Also in line with the 30th year commemoration, Phivolcs said it is conducting a photo-sharing activity for those who have original photos of the 1990 Luzon Earthquake.

Throughout the years, Phivolcs said it has strengthened its Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) efforts with enhanced seismic monitoring capability that allows for faster and more accurate delivery of earthquake information.

The agency started out with only 12 seismic stations when the earthquake monitoring function was transferred from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) in 1984. Now with 104 stations, it continuously expands the Philippine Seismic Network with additional earthquake monitoring stations equipped with state-of-the-art technology.

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