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Home Sections MiscellaNEWS NGO Bats for Early-Disaster Alerts
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Written by Barangay, Inc. (OBI) Press Office   
Sunday, 13 March 2011 14:56

 

By the Barangay, Inc. (OBI) Press Office

 

This Website’s Editor Continues Reminder to Filipino Policy-and-Decision Makers for Earthquake-Preparedness Program and Inspection and Retrofitting of Buildings

 

O ur Barangay Inc. (OBI) Vice Chairman Ike Señeres said today that all of the 42,008 barangay units in the Philippines should have their own computer-and-communications systems that could warn local residents about the coming threat of natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, typhoons and floods.

 

Mr. Señeres issued his statement after hearing a report presented at the UST Graduate School Climate Change Conference yesterday that there was actually a lead time of six hours from the time that flash floods raged in the Sierra Madre mountains, to the time that the waters reached the lowlands in Metro Manila in a recent calamity.

 

Ike Señeres said that the primary goal of OBI is to provide assistance to barangay units in computerizing their governance transactions, but it will now add the installation of early warning systems as one of their goals. “It does not cost much to build early warning systems. Even old computers and old radio handsets will serve the purpose.

 

Whatever the cost is, it is going to be worth it, because there is no price to the safety of our people”, he added.

 

Alerting Filipinos on the Tsunami from the Quake Disaster in Japan

 

C ommenting on the tsunami disaster that struck Japan yesterday, Mr. Señeres said that Plain Old Telephone Systems (POTS) and Global System for Mobile (GSM) communications systems were instantly paralyzed, making it difficult for local authorities to coordinate rescue-and-relief operations. “Fortunately, most of the local authorities had High Frequency (HF) Single Side Band (SSB) radios”, Ike Señeres added.

 

“What we saw in Japan should teach us a lesson that we should not rely on cell phones and land lines for our emergency communications. These two systems rely on wires and towers to work, and in earthquake, tsunamis and floods, these are usually the first to go down. SSB radios are good to use, but what are even better are satellite phones that are also equipped with Internet connectivity”, Mr. Señeres said.

 

“Can you imagine how many lives we could have saved if only we had people in the mountains who could alert the people in the lowlands about flood waters that are certainly going to flow downwards?” Ike Señeres asked.

 

Aside from SSB radios and satellite phones, the government should also install electronic sensors all over the country that could detect movements in water levels, wind patterns, rainfall density and abnormal motions, Mr. Señeres added. “These devices are already widely available now and also would not cost much”, he also said.

 

Commenting also on the costs of early-warning systems, Ike Señeres said that OBI is already providing advisory and consulting services to local barangay units for free, but local government units (LGUs) and non-government organizations (NGOs) have to contribute funds so that these systems could be built, adding that OBI could also provide systems integration and technical support as needed.

 

Formerly the Director General of the National Computer Center (NCC) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Crime Information System (NCIS), Mr. Señeres continues to offer his expertise in computers and communications to barangay units and ancestral domains through OBI. Anyone interested in the services of OBI may contact him at iseneres@yahoo.com or +639997333911.

 

In the meantime, here’s some updates about the catastrophic earthquake that struck Japan last Friday:

Powerful Quake, Tsunami Kill Hundreds in Japan

http://www.aolnews.com/2011/03/11/japan-earthquake-and-tsunami/

 

T OKYO -- A ferocious tsunami spawned by one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded slammed Japan's eastern coast Friday, killing hundreds of people as it swept away boats, cars and homes while widespread fires burned out of control.

 

Hours later, the tsunami hit Hawaii and warnings blanketed the Pacific, putting areas on alert as far away as South America, Canada, Alaska and the entire U.S. West Coast. In Japan, the area around anuclear power plant in the northeast was evacuated after the reactor's cooling system failed.

 

(SCROLL DOWN FOR THE LATEST UPDATES)

 

Police said 200 to 300 bodies were found in the northeastern coastal city of Sendai, the city in Miyagi prefecture (state) closest to the quake's epicenter. Another 88 were confirmed killed and at least 349 were missing. The death toll was likely to continue climbing given the scale of the disaster.

 

The magnitude-8.9 offshore quake unleashed a 23-foot (seven-meter) tsunami and was followed by more than 50 aftershocks for hours, many of them of more than magnitude 6.0. (Snipped)

 

Japan's worst previous quake was in 1923 in Kanto, an 8.3-magnitude temblor that killed 143,000 people, according to USGS. A 7.2-magnitude quake in Kobe city in 1996 killed 6,400 people.

 

Japan lies on the "Ring of Fire" - an arc of earthquake and volcanic zones stretching around the Pacific where about 90 percent of the world's quakes occur, including the one that triggered the Dec. 26, 2004, Indian Ocean tsunami that killed an estimated 230,000 people in 12 nations. A magnitude-8.8 temblor that shook central Chile last February also generated a tsunami and killed 524 people. # # #

 



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