DOST Undersecretary for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change and PHIVOLCS Executive Director Dr. Renato U. Solidum Jr. (2nd from left) and Tanauan City Mayor Jhoanna Corona-Villamor (3rd from left) lead national and local officials in the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the inauguration of the country’s first solar-powered state-of-the-art borehole broadband seismometer monitoring station near the Taal Volcano at a demonstration farm (right photo) in Barangay Bilog-bilog, Tanauan City, Batangas on February 19, 2019. (Photo by Maroe T. Genosa)
TANAUAN CITY, Batangas -- The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has established the country’s first borehole seismic monitoring station near Taal Volcano in a demonstration farm at Barangay Bilog-bilog in this city.
DOST Undersecretary for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change and PHIVOLCS Executive Director Dr. Renato Solidum Jr. and host city Mayor Jhoanna Corona-Villamor led national and local officials and constituents here for the inauguration Tuesday of the pioneering volcano monitoring station using the solar-powered state-of-the-art borehole broadband seismometer.
“Taal Volcano is considered a small volcano yet, it is one of the most active volcanoes which could erupt anew. We cannot discount the possibility it will erupt again, although we may no longer be around that happens, but we need to prepare and to monitor,” Solidum said.
He explained the modern borehole seismometer is the latest of such equipment which could monitor small or huge volcanoes, including their tremors, and earthquakes triggered by faults and trenches within the country’s territorial waters and even earthquakes from neighboring countries.
As part of PHILVOLCS National Volcano Monitoring and Warning Program, the VTTA or Tanauan Observation Station is cutting-edge equipment installed around 20 meters below the ground, equipped with a digital data recorder, power, and real-time communication systems.
It was established mainly to monitor earthquake activities beneath Taal Volcano, but it also has the capability to monitor earthquakes caused by movements of active faults and other earthquake generators in the Philippines.
Maria Antonia Bornas, PHIVOLCS Chief Science Research Specialist of the Volcano Monitoring and Eruption Prediction Division (VMEPD), said the Tanauan station is the 13th seismic observation station in Batangas.
Bornas said borehole seismometer differs from other seismometers because of its high-quality detection of all types of earthquakes within or outside the volcano areas, including its capability to monitor earthquakes outside the country.
She explained that along with the borehole seismometer is another state-of-the-art instrument which converts electrical signals from the seismometer for the seismic records.
“Next year, the VTTA would have high quality GPS System which could measure ground swelling in the volcano’s perimeter and infra-sounds system which could detect various sounds arising from the underground movements and surface volcanic activities,” she said.
Meanwhile, Mayor Jhonna Corona-Villamor has committed the city government’s support to the PHIVOLCS-DOST programs and projects.
She lauded the VTTA project as a testament to the collective efforts of DOST-PHIVOLCS with partners in Batangas province to continuously improve capabilities for early-warning of potential unrest, and to the unwavering commitment to ensuring the safety of communities at risk to the dangers posed by Taal Volcano.
Melissa Mae Tamayo, Science Research Specialist I of PHIVOLCS-Geologic Disaster Awareness and Preparedness Division, has introduced the agency’s “InfoSentro” aimed at giving updates from the Batangas-based monitoring stations nearby areas, including PHIVOLCS’ projects and Disaster Risk Reduction programs to enhance public preparedness and awareness for geologic events. (Maroe T. Genosa/PNA)