THE devastating 9.0 magnitude earthquake in Japan and the tsunami that came in its wake on March 11 have forced Filipinos to confront a grim reality.
As early as 2004, the Metropolitan Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study (MMEIRS) had projected that a “big earthquake…unlike any tragedy seen or imagined in Metro Manila” was imminent after research indicated that “active phases of the (West) Valley Faults are approaching and that the estimated magnitude will be around 7 or more.”
The West Valley Fault, formerly known as the Marikina Valley Fault, runs from the Sierra Madre in Bulacan and crosses parts of Metro Manila and Laguna and extends to Tagaytay. Areas lying right on the fault line include several subdivisions in Marikina and Quezon City.
“It’s already 200 years after the last movement. So there’s a very high probability that this will move in the future but we can’t say the exact time. Based on our assessment, the fault is ripe for movement,” Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology deputy director Bartolome Bautista said in a report that came out in the Philippine Daily Inquirer. The intensity of a West Valley Fault quake would range Preparing for ‘The Big One’ from 7 in Quezon City, almost 8 and 9 alongside Marikina River and Manila Bay, 8 at west of metropolitan Manila and 7 in other areas.
A high-magnitude temblor “could immediately damage 38% of homes, a third of public buildings, and cause more than 50,000 deaths” in Metro Manila. More than a million people will be rendered homeless, fires will break out, water supply will be cut off and kilometers of electric cables will be cut, leaving much of the population without electricity.
An earthquake advisory was issued by Lopez Group Foundation Inc. (LGFI) and Lopez Lifelong Wellness (LLW) on March 17 in the face of renewed fears that “The Big One” could strike anytime.
LGFI and LLW in the past two years had conducted several disaster preparedness forums for the Lopez Group. Experts such as Dr. Mahar Lagmay of the National Institute of Geological Sciences, Dr. Ted Esguerra of the Philippine Coast Guard, and Manila Observatory and Red Cross officials were on hand to discuss safety precautions and analyze the effects of global warming and natural calamities. Read a summary of the MMEIRS at www.pdc.org/mmeirs/html/mmeirs-home.jsp.
What to do: Duck-cover hold
Duck-cover hold. If you’re at home or at work during an earthquake, quickly open the nearest door for easy egress, then duck under a sturdy desk or table and hold on to it or cover your head with your hands. Stay away from glass windows and cabinets and other pieces of furniture that may drop or fall over. If you happen to be outside, move to an open area, making sure to avoid trees, power lines and concrete structures. If you’re in a car, stop, leave the vehicle and go to a safe area.
Be ready with a Go-bag at all times. Put several basics in a backpack that you can just pick up if you need to evacuate quickly.
This part of your survival kit should at least include first aid supplies, medication, battery-operated radio with extra batteries, flashlight, some water and food, and toiletries. At work, keep a flashlight, whistle and bottled water in your desk in addition to a small survival kit. (Source: www.phivolcs.dost.gov.ph)
Source: Lopez Link