DAGUPAN CITY – An innovative approach in disaster risk reduction here will soon be based on safety data generated by the Rapid Earthquake Damage Assessment System (REDAS) software.
The use of the software was explained during the mainstreaming calamity preparedness training attended by officials of the City Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Council (CDRRMC) and personnel of its Technical Working Group (TWG) on October 24 to 28 at the city hall conference hall.
Training participants were briefed on the proper use of the tremor casualty simulating computer program by resident scientists and staff of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) led by Director Renato Solidum.
Dr. Maria Leonila Bautista, associate scientist from the institute’s parent bureau, Department of Science and Technology (DOST), thanked the council for their eagerness to employ the application in local hazard management when she opened the seminar.
Lectures on data-gathering and operation of the software were taught during the first three days of the training. On the fourth day, a workshop was held to test the proficiency of the participants in handling the tool.
To certify the trainees’ capability to use the software, a graduation day was set on the last day.
In an interview, City Administrator and CDRRMC Executive Director Vlad Mata described the tool as “supplemental to making preparations for earthquakes, since those natural hazards cannot be predicted.”
He added that such application is a big help in formulating sounder policies in structural constructions as it can forecast damages by a certain magnitude of tremor and localize its severity.
Representatives from local government units (LGU) of Bauang in La Union, Maria in Aurora and Palapag in Northern Samar and provincial planning officers from Pangasinan and Benguet were also invited to the training.
The software, developed by PHIVOLCS Deputy Director Bartolome Bautista, translates geographical, demographical and geological data into maps and simulates sample earthquake damages. The city is the fifth LGU in the country to avail itself of the tool as part of its mainstreaming disaster risk reduction effort. (A repost from CIO Dagupan City)