MANILA, Philippines—They’ve been warned, but some are still “in denial.”
The Quezon City government on Wednesday reminded residents living near or along the West Valley Fault of the possible danger they face, two days after a deadly quake hit the Visayas and triggered a re-examination of the country’s disaster preparedness.
“We want to reiterate our warning to residents in the areas where the active fault lines are located,” said Elmo San Diego, head of the city’s public safety office.
In a briefing, San Diego said the city government had conveyed the warning particularly to the homeowners’ associations of upscale subdivisions located at the fault-line areas.
“We have talked to them and some of them were still in denial about the situation, while there are others who showed concern,” he noted.
“We do this because we do not want to be blamed if they are not apprised of the situation,” said San Diego, who also made a PowerPoint presentation showing the areas that could be affected by the movement of the fault, which runs from the Sierra Madre mountains through eastern Metro Manila to Southern Tagalog.
San Diego mentioned several areas in Quezon City located along the fault line and where markers had been placed: Bagong Silangan, Batasan Hills, Pansol, Blue Ridge B, White Plains, Green Meadows, Bagumbayan and Ugong Norte.
Some of these markers were installed in public, highly visible areas, he said. “They simply state that the area is along an active fault line.”
Residents in depressed areas have also been told. “We have advised them to vacate the place and relocate to areas provided by the local government,” San Diego said.
In the same briefing, Mayor Herbert Bautista called on future homeowners to heed the warning by not building structures in the marked fault-line areas.
“Our plan is to discourage the construction of structures within a 5-meter-wide border or buffer zone on both sides of the fault line,” Bautista said.
The mayor said the city government was considering declaring this buffer zone as strictly nonresidential and that more markers would be installed soon to further pinpoint where fault line runs.