Press Release
May 19, 2015

Bam: Is Metro Manila Ready for a Massive Quake?

"Handa ba ang Metro Manila sa pagtama ng malakas na lindol?"

Senator Bam Aquino has filed a resolution seeking to assess the capacity and preparedness of different stakeholders in case a massive earthquake hits the country.

Sen. Bam's move stemmed from the recent massive magnitude 7.8 earthquake in Nepal that killed more than 8,000 people and the magnitude 7.2 tremor that shook Bohol and Cebu in 2013 that killed more than 200 people.

"There is a need to assess and strengthen the capacities and preparedness of the concerned national government agencies, local government units, and partner stakeholders to mitigate and prepare for, respond to, and recover from the impact of a massive earthquake," Sen. Bam said in Proposed Senate Resolution 1354.

With the country's vulnerability to natural disasters, Sen. Bam said the institutionalization of systems, plans, programs and approaches must be prioritized to beef up disaster resilience of local communities, especially in vulnerable areas in the Greater Metro Manila Area (GMMA).

Sen. Bam said the GMMA is vulnerable to earthquakes because of the presence of a Valley Fault System composed of a 10-kilometer East Valley Fault in Rizal and a 100-kilometer West Valley Fault that runs through different cities and municipalities of Bulacan, Rizal, Metro Manila, Cavite and Laguna.

Based on a study conducted by the Metropolitan Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study in 2004, a potential rupture of the 90-kilometer West Valley Fault would lead to heavy or partial damage to 40 percent of all residential buildings, 34,000 deaths, and 114,000 injuries.

"A significant factor in ensuring earthquake safety is ensuring the ability of houses, buildings and all public infrastructure to withstand earthquakes even with magnitudes of 8 to 10," Sen. Bam said.

With this, Sen. Bam said there is an urgent need to audit the safety of existing and future construction projects to ensure their strict adherence to relevant and appropriate regulations, standards and guidelines, including those provided by the National Building Code.

"Dapat nating tiyakin na tayo'y handa sa pagtama ng malakas na lindol at siguruhing ang kaligtasan ng lahat," the senator said.

Also, locations of houses and buildings must be checked for safety based on the Valley Fault System (VFS) Atlas recently published by PHIVOLCS.

"Kailangang matuto tayo sa nangyari sa Nepal, sa Cebu at Bohol. Huwag na nating hintayin pang maraming buhay ang mawala at mga ari-arian ang masira," Sen. Bam added.

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