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Ground motion data crucial in building, infra design

DAVAO CITY  – Data on ground motion characteristics play a crucial role in ensuring seismic resilience of buildings and infrastructures.

Department of Science and Technology Philippine Institute of Volcanology  and Seismology (DOST-PhiVolcs) Undersecretary Renato Solidum pointed this out during the recent launching  of the “Metro Davao Site Response Atlas” in Davao City.

He deemed the Atlas as important for Metro Davao which he said “has been hosting residential, medium to  high rise buildings to accommodate the increasing population.”

“If construction is not properly guided with appropriate earthquake data, this could  give rise to probability earthquake hazard,” he pointed out.

Aside from Davao City, included in the “Metro Davao Site Response Atlas” are the cities of Digos in Davao del Sur; the cities of Panabo, Tagum and Island Garden City of Samal in Davao del Norte.

Also covered in  the Atlas are the municipalities of Sta. Cruz in Davao del Sur and Carmen of Davao del Norte.

To aid in the study on ground condition and earthquake hazard, Solidum recommended the  use of “DOST-Phivolcs Fault-finder Mobile App” to locate active fault-lines, a  necessary information for disaster preparedness.

But Solidum said  “the most important hazard that we wanted to  prepare for  would be the strong ground shaking because this can cause collapses of houses and buildings and infrastructures”.

DOST-Phivolcs explained that the Atlas provides information “to understand the ground motion and site response during strong earthquakes, which can be used to increase seismic resiliency of residential  and medium-to- high rise buildings in Metro Davao”.

The Atlas shows maps on the Shear Wave Velosity 30 (VS30) Model, Peak Ground Acceleration, Short Micronization Period, and Long Period Micronization of Metro Davao. These show the natural movement of grounds  made of solid rocks and that of sediments, during strong earthquake.

Solidum pointed out the importance of these maps in relation to designing private and government buildings and infrastructures.

“It is very important to know first the period of the ground where you are planning to put up buildings,” he said, referring to time in seconds that the ground shakes back and forth.

“To achieve a more resilient Metro Davao, the design must consider how the ground behaves.  It must consider the ground motion levels of the area where the structure would stand,” Solidum said. 

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