Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) Director Renato Solidum Jr. on Friday noted the importance of checking one’s house or a building’s safety or resilience from earthquake.
“The common perception is that high-rise buildings or tall houses are the ones more prone to the effects of an earthquake. But look at the 1990 Luzon earthquake, even low-rise structures were affected,” Solidum said in a virtual presser.
He noted that if the structure is not properly designed, constructed, and did not use the proper materials, then these would likely be affected by strong earthquakes.
“It is important to know the status of the place we live in. Would this be safe?
A magnitude 7.8 quake jolted Luzon on July 16, 1990. It has produced a 125 kilometers-long ground rupture that stretches from Dingalan, Aurora to Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya.
As the country remembers this strong earthquake event, Phivolcs announced the availability of the “How Safe Is My House?” app via the App Store.
“Phivolcs collaborated with the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention (NIED), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Japan Science and Technology (JST), and the Association of Structural Engineers of the Philippines (ASEP) to develop this in 2014,” Solidum said.
It enables the app’s users to self-check the safety of residential houses and one to two-storey concrete hollow block buildings.
Users will be able to determine if the house or building could withstand an Intensity VIII earthquake after answering these 12 questions:
1. Who built or designed my house?
2. How old is my house?
3. Has my house been damaged by past earthquakes or disasters?
4. What is the shape of my house?
5. Has my house been extended or expanded?
6. Are the external walls of my house 6inch (150mm) thick CHB?
7. Are steel bars of standard size and spacing used in walls?
8. Are there unsupported walls more than 3 meters wide?
9. What is the gable of my house made of?
10. What is the foundation of my house?
11. What is the soil condition under my house?
12. What is the overall condition of the house?
Earlier, Phivolcs launched the “How Safe Is My House?” which is downloadable via Google Play since April.
It can also be accessed via the website, howsafeismyhouse.phivolcs.dost.gov.ph/. (Ma. Cristina Arayata/PNA)