Saturday, March 26, 2011

Word for the day: Liquefaction

In a report filed by the Philippine Star last 24 March 2011, Phivolcs director  Renato Solidum, Jr. warned that several areas in Metro Manila, including Taguig, are prone to liquefaction.

Liquefaction, according to Wikipedia, refers to the process by which saturated, unconsolidated sediments are transformed into a substance that acts like a liquid.In the Philippine Star article, liquefaction is described as the process by which wet sediment starts to behave like liquid. It purportedly occurs because of the increased pore pressure and reduced effective stress between solid particles generated by the presence of liquid and is often caused by severe shaking, especially that associated with earthquakes.

A day later, the local government of Taguig identified 3 areas - Fort Bonifacio, Signal Village and Brgy. Pinagsama - where the soil is purportedly in "clay form" and thus, prone to liquefaction. According to the report, the information dissemination was done through the distribution of "leaflets". Meanwhile, Taguig's revamped website is up, sort of, with only the main page viewable. No mention of liquefaction there, even under the "News" or "Events" tab. It does, however, have a video of Nonito Donaire's visit to the city. Talk about priorities.

Because the Taguig website is so helpful, I searched for and found a video from GMA News, shown in 2010, where director Solidum explained the risk of liquefaction:

For the latest Philippine news stories and videos, visit GMANews.TV

In a follow-up report, Philippine Star has now identified Taguig City's "rescue chief" as Ronald Galicia. And in fairness,  the local government has apparently obtained a map from Phivolcs to help them identify other areas in Taguig which may be prone to liquefaction.  Taguig plans to conduct disaster risk reduction seminars in these areas.  

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