SUBIC BAY FREEPORT —The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) announced on Wednesday the installation of a tsunami alert system at the Sueste Point in this free port, thus beefing up Subic Bay’s capability in disaster preparedness.SBMA Chairman Roberto Garcia said the Tsunami Early Warning System (TeWS) here forms part of a string of early warning systems installed in selected high-risk coastal communities in the country.
The sensors in the system communicate signals to alerting sirens strategically located at five designated areas in the Subic Bay area—one at Bldg. 657 in the Subic Bay Freeport, two at Barangay Wawandue in Subic town, and another two at Barangay Barretto in Olongapo City.Maj. Vicente Tolentino, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Manage ment Council (NDRRMC) coordinator of the SBMA, said the Subic authority is now gearing up for a tsunami-preparedness program after systems installation has been completed.
“As of now, we are currently in the stage where we are coordinating with the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) regarding the training and education of stakeholders, employees and residents on how to utilize the system and how to respond properly during tsunami emergencies,” said Tolentino, who is also chief of the Special Reaction Division of the SBMA Law Enforcement Department.
He added that the TeWS sensor here would be particularly helpful due to the presence of the Manila trench subduction zone, which is an active convergent plate margin between the South China Sea and the northern Philippines. The oceanic trench located west of the islands of Luzon and Mindoro, is responsible for the belt of volcanoes on the west side of Luzon including Mount Pinatubo.
The installation of the tsunami alert system in the Subic Bay area was contained in a memorandum of agreement signed by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and its Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI), the city of Olongapo, municipality of Subic, and the SBMA in November 2012.
The agreement also required the SBMA, Subic, and Olongapo to prepare and produce community-based evacuation plans.