(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Wednesday, 19 June 2024) Southwest Monsoon affecting the western sections of Southern Luzon and Visayas. 𝗙𝗒π—₯π—˜π—–π—”π—¦π—§ π—ͺπ—˜π—”π—§π—›π—˜π—₯ π—–π—’π—‘π——π—œπ—§π—œπ—’π—‘: Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due to Localized Thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. 𝗙𝗒π—₯π—˜π—–π—”π—¦π—§ π—ͺπ—œπ—‘π—— 𝗔𝗑𝗗 π—–π—’π—”π—¦π—§π—”π—Ÿ π—ͺπ—”π—§π—˜π—₯ π—–π—’π—‘π——π—œπ—§π—œπ—’π—‘: Light to moderate winds coming from Southeast to South will prevail with slight to moderate seas (0.6 to 2.1 meters).

Wednesday, 22 May 2024

PHIVOLCS capacitates frontline risk communicators, media on geologic hazards

By Renelle L. Escuadro

“The frontline risk communicators of the government and the media play a pivotal role in communicating accurate information on geologic hazards down to the communities.”

This was emphasized by Director Teresito C. Bacolcol of the Department of Science and Technology - Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (DOST – PHIVOLCS), as he talked to some 100 participants during the first leg of this year’s PHIVOLCS InfoPress:  Understanding and Communicating Geologic Hazards held on May 16 in Butuan City.

Through a localized approach, the activity was attended by the information officers from the five provinces and highly urbanized city in Caraga, information officers of DOST Caraga, local disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) officers and media practitioners in the region to bridge the gap and effectively communicate geologic hazards and orient them on how to prepare and properly respond when these geologic hazards occur.

The director further said, “Our goal is to clarify the commonly used terms in reporting geologic hazards and their impacts, and to present the region-specific volcanoes, earthquake, and tsunami scenarios for localized planning and appropriate disaster preparedness and response. Let's work together for a safer and resilient community.”

Meanwhile, Philippine Information Agency-Caraga Regional Head Venus Lim-Garcia also underscored the importance of effective communication in safeguarding the communities from the devastating impacts of geologic hazards especially that Caraga region is prone to different calamities.

“Our collective efforts are crucial in ensuring that accurate information reaches the public, empowering individuals to make informed decisions and take proactive management and preventive measures specifically for geologic hazards,” said Garcia.

Science of earthquake scenarios

Supervising Science Research Specialist Jeffrey S. Perez first discussed the ‘Big One’ earthquake scenario in the Caraga region.

The earthquake sources in Caraga region, according to Perez, are the Philippine trench, Philippine fault (PF) in Surigao segment, Philippine fault in Esperanza segment, Philippine fault in Agusan Marsh segment, Philippine fault in Lianga  segment, and Philippine fault in Linugos river fault.

It can be recalled that just last year, two significant offshore earthquakes hit the region:  the magnitude (M) 7.4 and M6.8 in Surigao del Sur in December.

Science of tsunami scenarios

Supervising Science Research Specialist Joan C. Salcedo described the phenomenon as, "Tsunami is a wall of water, and can move faster than a running person. Some tsunamis can be very large. In coastal areas, their height can be as great as 10 meters or more such as 30 meters in extreme cases, and they can cause impacts like flash floods. Also, later tsunami waves are often full of debris.”

She pointed out that not all earthquakes can cause a tsunami, that is why it is essential to be mindful of the tsunami information and advisories disseminated by the key agencies of the government.

And to prepare the Caraga region for disasters, Senior Science Research Specialist Charmaine V. Villamil shared information on disaster preparedness.

She also tackled DOST-PHIVOLCS’ conduct of regular activities to ensure the safety of the general public.

“Our scientists and engineers conduct field surveys, generate maps, and develop tools for hazard and risk information," she said.

Villamil also disclosed the investments made by DOST-PHIVOLCS in the installation and upgrading of monitoring equipment and requested the participants to help them take care of these life-saving equipment.

“We need your help to inform the general public to take good care of our equipment being used to monitor natural disasters like earthquakes for everyone's safety. Some of them are reported stolen from our satellite stations,” she added.


In the workshop proper, the participants were formed into groups to formulate communication plans on specific disaster scenario. Information Officer Jauzz M. Edera of the Province of Dinagat Islands presented their group's workshop outputs highlighting the utilization of their social media platforms in the information dissemination.

“The PHIVOLCS InfoPress enhanced our understanding and knowledge on disaster, especially on earthquake and tsunami. We are thankful we have different platforms in place that we can use for information drive.  It is still better to use the correct and common terms so people in the barangay can immediately understand the information that we are conveying and we prevent fake news,” Edera said as her takeaway of the activity. 

The media practitioners also had the opportunity to collaborate well with the rest of the government communicators and also highlighted their traditional media platforms such as radio and print.

DOST- Caraga Regional Director Noel M. Ajoc and Office of Civil Defense Caraga Regional Director and RDRRM Council Chairperson Liza R. Mazo also expressed their commitment in strengthening disaster resilience advocacy in the region.

The PHIVOLCS InfoPress started as an online activity from 2021 to 2023. For this year, the second leg will continue in La Union on August 8. (RLE/PIA-Caraga)