UNKNOWN to many, a seismograph that records the earth’s movement is stationed in UST.

An unmanned strong-motion seismograph stationed in a control room at the UST Sports Complex, beside the old Engineering canteen, was installed by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) in 1998. Similar instruments are stationed inside the Metro, including the Department of Budget and Management in Manila, the Marikina Elementary School, the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company office in Ortigas and the Metropolitan Manila Development Autority office in Makati.

“PHIVOLCS placed the seismograph here in UST to monitor earthquake tremors in the whole vicinity of Manila, especially in the Sampaloc area,” engineer Lawrence Pangan of Buildings and Ground, told the Varsitarian. PHIVOLCS personnel check UST’s seismograph every three months.

According to PHIVOLCS personnel, the seismograph has a built-in memory system sensor that records earth vibrations in an area. PHIVOLCS confirms data received by the sensor through at least three other stations near the region of activity. Attached to the ground, electronics are used to magnify signals so that very small tremors can be detected. The seismic data gathered would then be processed through a software called Nanometrics used by PHIVOLCS.

Modern seismographs have been used to raise alarm and call for evacuations of an earthquake. These machines can reveal ground motion parameters such as acceleration, velocity, and displacement. PHIVOLCS situated seismological stations across the country, such as Roxas City’s manned station in Capiz and the Boac unmanned seismic station in Marinduque, to gather data regarding unpredictable movements of faults.

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