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Are you ready to rumble? Check Metro hazard maps

Phivolcs turns over life-saving data to LGUs in wake of Visayas killer quake
By: - Reporter / @NikkoDizonINQ
/ 02:16 AM October 18, 2013

“Though earthquakes may cause buildings to tremble/ Buildings will not crumble and people inside will not stumble/ And in the very near future, all the communities are resilient and they will say / They are all ready to rumble with the temblor of the earthquakes that may affect Metro Manila’s concrete jungle.”

With this short poem which he wrote just minutes before he faced reporters on Thursday, Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) chief Renato Solidum summed up his fervent hope that Metro Manila—with the help of a recently-concluded risk analysis study—would be able to withstand natural calamities like earthquakes.

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Solidum said that while a 7.2- or 6.5-magnitude earthquake may cause severe damage, studying the newly generated multihazard and risk maps for Metro Manila and  preparing for any eventuality could help mitigate its effects.

The first generation 87 multihazard and risk maps for Metro Manila were formally turned over yesterday to local government units (LGUs) in the National Capital Region. The event coincided with the commemoration of the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction.

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3-year collaboration

The maps and their accompanying data were the result of the “Risk Analysis Project,” a three-year collaboration of the Australian government’s Aid program with Geoscience Australia; Phivolcs; the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa); Mines and Geosciences Bureau; National Mapping and Resource Information Authority; and the Office of Civil Defense.

“The increasing scale and frequency of natural disasters are costing the [Philippines] millions every year and studies have shown that due to changing climate change patterns and rapid urbanization in [Metro Manila], it can get even worse,” said Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Bill Tweddell.

Up to 37,000 dead

The A$5.55-million project included other natural hazards like severe winds and floods caused by tropical cyclones.

The study said that a simulated 7.2-magnitude earthquake along the West Valley Fault may result in P2.4 trillion worth of damage to buildings and possibly more than 37,000 deaths.

Solidum, meanwhile, emphasized the need for LGUs to adapt the land use program “in accordance with the appropriate hazards addressed” and conduct an information drive among their constituents.

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“Construction must follow the best technology and the current standards. If buildings are weak, they must be retrofitted. Therefore, there should be regular inspections of buildings. LGUs and regional disaster risk reduction and management shelters must have emergency shelters and operations plans,” he said.

 

Most high-rises resilient

Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista, meanwhile, said it was up to the LGUs to properly inform their constituents of the information generated by the risk maps.

Both he and Solidum said that most high-rise buildings in the capital were resilient to earthquakes.

Solidum added that homeowners must also remember to retrofit their houses as even middle- or low-rise structures may collapse and result in deaths like what happened in Bohol last Tuesday.

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TAGS: Earthquake, LGUs, Local government unit, Metro hazard maps, Metro Manila, Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Phivolcs, Renato Solidum, Visayas killer quake
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