PH NatCom Partners with IPRED for a Post Earthquake Mission to Bohol

PH NatCom’s Science and Technology Committee joined representatives of the International Platform for Reducing Earthquake Disasters (IPRED) Programme of UNESCO on 24-28 February 2014 to do a post-earthquake assessment of Bohol which was hit by a killer 7.2 earthquake in October 2013.

IPRED functions as a “building disaster reduction network” with members coming from among the world’s most earthquake-prone countries: Chile, Egypt, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Peru, Romania and Turkey.  IPRED’s mission is to share scientific knowledge and experience in the field of seismology and earthquake engineering for the purpose of raising public understanding of earthquakes, preparing communities to deal with earthquake disasters, and building a culture of safety in high-risk communities.

The IPRED team for the Bohol mission was headed by Mr. Soichiro Yasukawa of UNESCO Paris, and had for its members, Mr. Ruslanzhan Sadyrov and Mr. Kanatbay Ryskulov of the Institute of Seismology, Ministry of Education and Sciences, Kazakhstan;  Mr. Tomoya Matsui of Toyohashi University of Technology, Japan;  Mr. Koichi Kusunoki of National Yokohama University, Japan; and Mr. Stephen Kelley, UNESCO Consultant for built heritage.   From the Philippines side, the team experts included Dr. Reynaldo S. Vea, PH NatCom Science and Technology Committee Chair and President of MAPUA Institute of Technology;  Engineers Bienvenido Cervantes and Eduardo Villamor of MAPUA’s College of Engineering; and Dr. Mario Aurelio of the University of the Philippines’ Institute of Geological Sciences.  PH NatCom Secretary-General Virginia A. Miralao and Science and Technology Committee Programme Officer, Mr. Freddie Blanco, accompanied the team to Bohol.    

            The team focused their investigation and assessment on selected structures (municipal buildings, houses, churches, schools and hospitals) damaged in varying degrees by the earthquake, as well as a few other structures that sustained no or very little damage.  The team collected ground motion data and various other evidence on engineering damages, and met with and interviewed local officials and professionals (engineers, architects, town planners) at the Provincial Governor’s Office and the Office of the Archdiocese of Tagbilaran.  Additional information on building codes and standards and seismic trends were likewise obtained from other relevant sources as Philippines Institute of Volcanology and Seismology  (PHIVOLCS), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and Association of Structural Engineers of the Philippines (ASEP).      

The report of the mission is nearing completion.  Its findings and recommendations center on Structural Design, Material Standards and Quality Control, and Site Selection and Zoning.  The report is expected to provide useful guidelines for updating and upgrading the country’s building and zoning codes in light of new seismic data,  as well as a scientific analysis/ assessment of Bohol’s October 2013 earthquake that may be used by Philippine engineering schools and colleges.

The mission team during a courtesy call with Bohol Governor Edgardo M. Chatto (fourth from left).  Also in the picture are: (L-R)  Engr. Bienvenido Cervantes (MAPUA Institute of Technology), Dr. Reynaldo S. Vea (President of MAPUA Institute of Technology and Chairman, S&T Committee of PH NatCom for UNESCO), Dr. Virginia A. Miralao, Secretary-General PH NatCom for UNESCO); Gov. Chatto; Mr. Soichiro Yasukawa (Programme Specialist, UNESCO, Paris);  Engr. Kanatbay Ryskulov [hidden] (Kazakhstan); Engr. Ruslanzhan Sadyrov (Kazakhstan); and Prof. Koichi Kusunoki (Japan).  

Sagbayan Municipal Hall before (left) and after (right) the earthquake

Damage at the base of one of the portico columns of the Church of St. Anthony of Padua in Sikatuna  (photo courtesy of  S. Kelley)

Damaged wall of a hospital in Loon 

Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception in Baclayon before and after the earthquake   (photos courtesy of  S. Kelley)