Intensity 8 and Magnitude 7.2 are the projected readings for a possible upcoming earthquake in Metro Manila, reveals the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) in a report posted on InterAksyon.
The projections were based on a study conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in 2004. The Metro Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study (MMEIRS) is now being used by several government sectors to prepare for the worst case scenario.
According to the Manila Bulletin, the study revealed that if an intensity-7.2 to 9 quake hits the National Capital Region, at least 30,000 people will die. The quake will also totally destroy 35% of public buildings and 40% of residential buildings.
Preparations for worst case scenario
The Department of National Defense (DND) spearheads the agencies handling this concern, says Chief of Staff Gen. Pio Catapang of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). Troops under the AFP are being continually trained in disaster preparedness and rescue missions. Safety drills are also being conducted in schools and offices, bringing added awareness to the public so they know how to act when disaster strikes.
Sen. Loren Legarda commends the DND for its plans to prepare and educate people about ‘the Big One’. She also adds how it really is important that the public is prepared for the worst, so as to prevent deaths and injuries should the disaster strike.
“Burying the dead will be a problem,” Pama tells Legarda.
Earthquake Risk Audit
Legarda wants an earthquake risk audit to be conducted in all government buildings to check their condition so that necessary repairs/upgrades can be done to strengthen these to withstand strong tremors.
The public is also advised to be alert at all times because the intensity 9 quake could happen anytime, anyplace; though the DND is still hoping that this will not happen.
Legarda hopes the entire country will take the necessary steps for earthquake preparedness. Local government units (LGUs) are encouraged to create evacuation plans that allow people to take the quickest, safest way to reach open or safe places. It is also important for people to be educated where they would go during disasters, reports InterAksyon.
Most importantly, an early warning system for earthquake and tsunami should be developed soon.