Latest Stories

38,000 will be killed, 100,000 will be injured if major quake hits Metro Manila


Coping with emergencies is among the first lessons schoolchildren learn in a country regularly hit by natural and man-made disasters. Students of Baclaran Elementary School Central in Parañaque City cover their heads with their hands after evacuating their school building during an earthquake drill on Friday. NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

MANILA, Philippines—If a major earthquake hits Metro Manila, 38,000 people will be killed within the first hour, more than 100,000 will be injured, and the area along Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard in Pasay City will be turned into a mass grave.

These were some of the grim scenarios that Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Francis Tolentino told the Philippine Medical Association in a closed-door meeting Tuesday on the agency’s earthquake preparations.

“We have learned from Chairman Tolentino some disturbing facts and dreadful scenarios that can happen to us all in the National Capital Region (NCR) in case a powerful earthquake strikes,” said PMA president Leo Olarte.

“And because of this, we are bent in doing concrete measures to help minimize enormous human casualties resulting from such a calamity,” he added.

The MMDA has drawn up “Oplan Metro Yakal” (OMY), a response plan for a Magnitude 7 or a stronger earthquake which experts say could hit the capital every 200 years.

Olarte said the PMA, the largest association of doctors in the country, could mobilize members in Luzon and NCR as Oplan Metro Yakal volunteers.

“At the moment, we are not asking if this kind of a megadisaster can happen in Metro Manila. Our question now is when will this happen. So far, the little-known 200-year earthquake cycle in Metro Manila has already elapsed, so this nightmare can happen anytime,” Olarte said.

“We need to prepare now and be ready for the worst scenario. That is why we are partnering with the MMDA,” he added.

OMY identified four possible evacuation sites and a temporary mass burial grounds in the aftermath of a killer quake.

“Tolentino informed us that, for the northern Metro Manila sector, the evacuation site will be at the Veterans Golf Course in Quezon City; the Villamor Golf Course in Pasay City for the southern sector; Wack Wack Golf in Course in Mandaluyong City for the eastern sector and the Intramuros Golf Course for the western sector,” Olarte said.

He said the reclamation area along Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard in Pasay City will be designated as “a temporary mass burial site.”

“A once-in-200-years earthquake that can hit the Philippines can wipe out 20 percent of Metro Manila. Roads will be made impassable and simultaneous fires will ensue,” Olarte said.

Under the Metro Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study (MMEIRS), he added, a Magnitude 7.2 earthquake can break Metro Manila into “four regions’’.

“Within an hour, 38,000 people will be killed and more than 100,000 will be injured. The megaquake will also topple at least 13 percent of the 170,000 residential buildings and will leave 1.2 million people homeless,” Olarte said.

“It can also damage 20 percent of the vital facilities such as hospitals, government centers and schools” he added.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: disaster , Earthquake , Metro Manila , preparedness

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Massive infra spending set
  5. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  6. DOJ to NBI: Arrest Cedric Lee, 4 others
  7. Cardinal Tagle to faithful: Join politics to clean it
  8. Estrada, Gigi Reyes denied access to evidence from other respondents
  9. Lacson’s wife loses diamond earring to thieves but recovers jewelry quickly with police arrest
  10. DOJ orders arrest of Cedric Lee
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  4. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  5. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  6. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  7. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  8. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  9. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  10. Palace: We can’t blame increase in population on Vitangcol
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  5. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  6. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  7. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  8. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  9. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  10. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct


  • World reacts to death of Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Two Popes who would be saints
  • Anti-gay demo in Ethiopia cancelled
  • Obama launches measures to support solar energy in US
  • Nebraska toddler gets stuck inside claw machine
  • Sports

  • Duke freshman declares for NBA draft
  • Vietnam says it will not host Asian Games
  • Nadal passes clay landmark with 300th victory
  • Wawrinka waltzes through with Monte Carlo walkover
  • Power Pinays smash India in Asian Women’s Club volleyball opener
  • Lifestyle

  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Entertainment

  • Cannes film festival launches race for 2014 Palme d’Or
  • Jones, Godard, Cronenberg in competition at Cannes
  • Will Arnett files for divorce from Amy Poehler
  • American rapper cuts own penis, jumps off building
  • Jay Z to bring Made in America music fest to LA
  • Business

  • Oil prices mixed ahead of long Easter weekend
  • US stocks end mostly higher after earnings deluge
  • Total says makes ‘very promising’ oil find off Ivory Coast
  • ‘Chinese Twitter’ firm Weibo to go public in US
  • World stocks subdued, Nikkei flat on profit taking
  • Technology

  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • DOF: Tagaytay, QC best at handling funds
  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Last call for nominations to ’14 Presidential Awards
  • San Francisco business coalition slams proposed tax on sugary drinks
  • A ‘time-travel’ production of ‘Les Miserable’ at Stanford
  • Filipina Maryknoll sister honored for years of service
  • Malaysia quarantines 64 villagers over MERS virus
  • Marketplace