Press Release
March 26, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara said that the Philippine Disaster Science Management Center (DSMC) is ready to assist in preparing the nation for the dealing with disasters like the devastating earthquake that recently hit Japan, now that it is in possession of the Metro Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study (MMEIRS), a report on the safety of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant and a Disaster and Complexity study.

Angara, Chair of the Congressional Commission on Science Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), noted that the DSMC acquired this data as part of an ongoing lecture series featuring renowned local and foreign scientists that study the effects of climate change and disasters in the local setting.

"We need the DSMC to help us prepare for the earthquakes and similar disasters that continue to threaten the country. The government needs to be able to understand how to develop an advanced and real-time information dissemination strategy so people can better prepare to handle such events," noted Angara.

The MMEIRS is a joint study that was undertaken by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to create a an earthquake scenario damage map of Metro Manila.

According to the study, "7.8 magnitude earthquake scenario hitting the city, around 8,918 or 17% of all the buildings will be heavily damaged while around 16,374 (32.5%) will be partly damaged. Expected casualties can rise to 12,000 individuals while 4,000 will be injured. The fire damage in this scenario can cover 116 hectares with 49,000 buildings projected to be burnt down affecting 1,600 people."

In light of the recent problems encountered by Japan and its nuclear reactors, COMSTE also has a report authored by Dr. Kelvin Rodolfo, who is one of the guest lecturers at the DSMC's ongoing climate change and disaster management lecture series, indicating the dangers faced by re-opening the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant.

Among the problems, according to the report, is that, "Contrary to House Bill 'Mandating the Immediate Rehabilitation, Commissioning and Commercial Operation of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant', BNPP is not '10 km away from Natib Volcano'. It is on Natib Volcano."

Dr. Rodolfo is Professor Emeritus with the Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, and Senior Visiting Fellow of Earth System Science of the Manila Observatory. He is also a member of the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) and the Philippine-American Academy of Science and Engineering (PAASE).

Professor Jose Cruz also completed his lecture series on complexity theory and multi-stakeholder decision strategies as part of the DSMC lecture series.

Dr. Cruz is a Control Theorist and Distinguished Professor of Engineering in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Ohio State University. He is also a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST).

Dr. Cruz is well known for his research and work on game-theoretic control and estimation, circuits and automatic control, hierarchical multi-agent strategies in hostile environments, bidding strategies in energy markets, multiple training in associative memories, and feedback theory.

The next phase of the DSMC project will be to focus on the detailed scenarios of earthquake disasters for Metro Manila as described in the full MMEIRS report.

COMSTE will also participate in multi-sector discussions of the full report as organized by the DSMC.

The DSMC is set to become a training center that will focus on scenario-type learning utilizing technology for disaster mitigation and management. Taiwan and Japan are already actively cooperating with training of local experts for situations like floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis.

The DSMC is set to be a public-private initiative that the scientific community can use to better understand the mechanics of managing disasters with the cooperation of neighboring countries that have experienced similar storms and natural calamities as the Philippines.

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