Evacuation centers eyed ahead of possible tsunami, storm surges

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Sunday, May 18, 2014


DAGUPAN CITY -- The City Government will designate some 300 buildings and residential units as possible evacuation centers in the event of a big tsunami and storm surge in Dagupan.

The structures, which are as high as three-storey buildings, are located in 16 villages here, namely: Barangay II and III, Lasip Chico, Pugaro, Poblacion Oeste, Herrero-Perez, Lomboy, Bacayao Norte, Pantal, Pogo Chico, Bonuan Binloc, Pogo Grande, Barangay I, Barangay IV, Tebeng, Mayombo and Salisay.

The proposed evacuation centers were identified to prepare Dagupan residents in case a strong earthquake, emanating from the Manila Trench, might generate a tsunami as high as seven meters.

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Dr. Leonila Bautista, of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), earlier discussed with Mayor Belen Fernandez the plan to identify secure buildings where Dagupeños could seek refuge from tsunami and storm surges.

Professor Nicanor Melecio, a City Government consultant, said Dagupan will sign a memorandum of agreement with the owners of buildings and residences so that in case of a calamity, they will open their place as evacuation centers.

In a report, the City Information Office said the City Government, through the Public Alert and Response Management Center (PARMC), will conduct further survey to identify areas that will serve as evacuation centers in the villages of Bonuan Boquig, Bonuan Gueset, Calmay, Carael, Salapingao, Bacayao Sur, Lasip Grande, Lucao, Malued, Tapuac, Bolosan, Mamalingling, Tambac, Caranglaan and Mangin.

“If we have to spend to save the lives of the people, we will do it. What is important is we are prepared,” said Fernandez.

At present, PARMC -- the city’s first responders relied upon to act on the ground when disasters strike -- is equipped with three navigation system, the global positioning system (GPS) that provides location and time information in all weather conditions, anywhere on or near the Earth.

To assess and classify the capability of all three-storey buildings in the city, PARMC sought the assistance of the volunteer team of classifiers and assessors composed of architects and engineers.

Fernandez suggested that the team should also look into the possibility of identifying other buildings outside Dagupan where agreements with other local chief executives can be made and duplicate the project in their respective localities. (PIA)

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