Do You Live Near a Fault Line? Find Out With This App


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PhiVolcs’ FaultFinder reveals the distance between a location and the nearest active fault. The app may help Filipinos in keeping their families safe from the damaging effects of earthquakes.

Earthquake preparedness has become a major topic among the people of the Philippines due to the ground shaking that struck the country over the previous several days.

To help Filipinos learn more about the fault lines and prepare better for earthquakes, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology created FaultFinder. Users may access the app through a browser or download it into Android devices through the Google Play Store.

What is the PhiVolcs FaultFinder?

The PhiVolcs FaultFinder, launched in 2016, is an app that can search for nearby active faults, depending on the user’s location. It can determine the location of the nearest active fault, as well as the shortest distance between it and the user.

The app may also be used to determine the distance between the nearest active fault and a specific location that the user determines.

The app is the product of a collaboration between PhiVolcs, the Department of Science and Technology, the Geological Survey of Japan, and the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology of Japan.

FaultFinder utilizes three base maps, namely Philippines Geoportal from NAMRIA, Google Maps, and Openstreet.

How to Use the PhilVolcs FaultFinder

Upon launching FaultFinder, users are presented with two options: Valley Fault System, for faults in the Greater Metro Manila Area, and Other Fault Systems, for faults in other areas in the Philippines.

Users will need to share the computer’s location or activate the Android device’s GPS before proceeding, so the app will know the location of the user.

Under Valley Fault System, select VFS Fault Nearest You, and under Other Fault Systems, select Active Fault Nearest You. Change maps using the Base Maps option, click on Legend to see the meaning of the marks, and adjust zoom level by using the + and – buttons.

To look at the distance between a specific barangay to the nearest active fault, users may choose the Active Fault Based on Location option, under which they can cycle through barangays across the Greater Metro Manila Area.

Lastly, users may check the distance between a specific area and the nearest active fault by double-clicking on a spot on the map.

Importance of Living Away from Fault Lines

PhiVolcs created the FaultFinder app to help with land use planning, risk assessment, disaster risk reduction plans, and awareness. Earthquakes are stronger in areas nearer fault lines, so disaster response teams have plans

For the regular user, the app will help determine which locations are not desirable, depending on the user’s preferred distance to an active fault.

The Valley Fault System referred to in the app is also known as the Marikina Valley Fault System. Its west segment, known as the West Valley Fault, runs through Metro Manila across the cities of Marikina, Quezon City, Pasig, Makati, Taguig, and Muntinlupa. Meanwhile, its east segment, known as the East Valley Fault, extends from Rodriguez to San Mateo in the province if Rizal.

A total of 99 private villages and subdivisions within 80 barangays, including over 6,000 buildings, traverse the West Valley Fault. The fault, however, carries the threat of a possible large-scale earthquake, with an estimated magnitude between 6 to 7 and as high as 7.6. Because of this perceived threat, potential property buyers who are knowledgeable of the matter are avoiding areas near the West Valley Fault, for the safety of their family and their investment.

Sources: Philvolcs, Youtube, Faultfinder, Wikipedia

Check out our previous journal for more real estate features.


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