April 12, 2012
Legarda: We Must Be Ready for Earthquakes as Strong
Senator Loren Legarda reiterated her call for greater earthquake preparedness efforts, stressing that the occurrence of strong temblors are unpredictable.
Legarda made the statement following the 8.7 magnitude earthquake that struck off the West Coast of Northern Sumatra in Indonesia.
"The Philippines should already be prepared for such strong temblors since a 7.2 magnitude earthquake could already result to massive devastation in the country," she stressed.
The Senator said that the Metro Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study (MMEIRS) conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in 2004 revealed that a 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Metro Manila would cause the destruction of 40% of the residential buildings, damage 35% of all public buildings, kill 34,000 people and injure 114,000 individuals.
"We will not tire of demanding from concerned government agencies the establishment of necessary mechanisms to secure our communities from the devastating effects of disasters such as earthquakes. Preparations must include evaluation and retrofitting of buildings and infrastructure, conduct of earthquake drills, set up of early warning system, and locating safe refuge. We will also continue to urge communities to take the initiative in making sure that they are well prepared so that they will not be caught off guard when natural hazards strike," Legarda emphasized.
Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, encouraged the reproduction of the Disaster Preparedness and First Aid Handbook that was produced by the Committee with the help of various government agencies and has been distributed for free since last year.
The Handbook includes information about earthquakes, among many other hazards, and the steps to take before, during and after a temblor occurs.