Japan’s NEC to supply P440-M system to Phivolcs
Japanese technology firm NEC Corp. will supply the Philippine government with about one billion yen or P440.9 million worth of disaster prevention system that will provide local government units (LGUs) clear-cut data on earthquakes.
“NEC Corp. has been selected to provide the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) with a wide-area disaster prevention system to detect volcanic and seismic activity by using seismic intensity meters and tide indicators, as well as offering disaster countermeasures,” the Tokyo-based company said on its website last week.
According to NEC, this project is funded by a grant aid from the Japanese government’s Improvement of Equipment for Disaster Risk Management program.
The company “will supply almost one billion yen worth of the system throughout the Philippines,” Mari Takahashi, in charge of media relations at NEC Corp., told the Inquirer in an e-mail on Friday.
The disaster prevention system to be supplied by NEC, which will use very small aperture terminal (VSAT) technology, will be operated starting February next year.
“The wide-area disaster prevention system gathers sensor data recorded by the strong-motion seismographs and tide indicators located throughout the Philippines in the servers at the Phivolcs via satellite-based communication (VSAT),” NEC said.
“More specifically, seismic intensity meters will be located in approximately 40 locations and tide indicators will be located in approximately 20 locations all over the Philippines, and these sensors will use photovoltaic solar cells so that they can send data constantly. The data on oscillation and the tides will be gathered in real time, enabling the constant monitoring of volcanic and seismic activity,” the company added.
“After this project is completed, each local city in Philippines where the meters were installed will get to know the earthquake intensity locally when it occurs [so] local governments will be able to take actions immediately in case an earthquake occurs. Currently, all the information is collected by Phivolcs, then conveyed to local cities via central government,” Takahashi explained.
“This kind of disaster prevention system has already been put to practical use in Japan. The technology and performance of the system is proven,” he added.
Both the Philippines and Japan lie in the “Pacific Ring of Fire,” where earthquakes and volcanic eruptions frequently occur.
In October last year, a 7.2-magnitude earthquake shook Central Visayas, which leveled a number of tourist spots in Bohol as well as disrupted operations of business process outsourcing (BPO) companies and ecozone firms in Cebu. The government had pegged the earthquake’s damages to infrastructure in Bohol and Cebu at P2.26 billion.
Through the modern disaster prevention system to be supplied by NEC, Phivolcs “aims to reduce the impact of natural disasters by communicating with the relevant ministries and agencies immediately after an earthquake or tsunami is detected and making use of changes in the sensor data to predict volcanic eruptions,” the company claimed.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.