THE Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) officially launched on Thursday the Baguio City Ground Shaking Hazard Maps (BCGSHM).

Accessible through the Phivolcs’ website, the maps provide information on the levels of ground motion and site response during strong earthquakes based on the characteristics of the underlying soil and rock layers and the effects of specific topography in Baguio City and La Trinidad.

Benguet Provincial Science and Technology Director Sheila Marie Claver said that originally, the project was only for Baguio City, but it was expanded to cover La Trinidad, Benguet.

“With the city’s rapid urbanization, there has been an increasing rate in the development of buildings and structures. Due to the unique features of the city, especially the irregularities in the topography, all the more that it needs mapping of seismic sites,” Claver said.

The BCGSHM is one of the outputs of the “Passive Seismic Stratigraphy of Irregular Topography (PSSIT) Applicable to Mountainous Areas of Baguio City ” project funded by the Department of Science and Technology.

The hazard maps are expected to be of use in crafting plans to prepare the city against the potential impact of earthquakes such as the recent July earthquake that rocked the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).