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Phivolcs urges residents to prepare for Magnitude 7.2 earthquake (the Big One) in Metro Manila, nearby areas

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The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) urged residents of Metro Manila and nearby provinces to prepare for the “Big One,” a magnitude 7.2 earthquake to be generated by the West Valley Fault, which is ripe for movement.

The warning came after a magnitude 6.7 earthquake rocked Surigao, resulting to major devastation in the city and nearby areas.

Related: Magnitude 5.4 earthquake jolts Metro Manila and nearby Luzon provinces

According to Phivolcs, the “Big One” could kill thousands.  The West Valley Fault, which traverses portions of Quezon City, Marikina, Makati, Pasig, Taguig, Muntinlupa, Bulacan (Doña Remedios Trinidad, Norzgaray, San Jose Del Monte City), Rizal (Rodriguez), Laguna (San Pedro City, Biñan, Sta Rosa, Cabuyao, Calamba, and Cavite (Carmona, General Mariano Alvarez, Silang).

The West Valley Fault moves roughly every 400 years. The last major earthquake generated by this fault was in 1658 or 357 years ago.

Related: Netizens share photos of magnitude 5.4 quake aftermath and damages

“Everyone must learn from the recent effects of the magnitude 6.7 earthquake in Surigao del Norte. If a similar event happens in a highly urbanized area, the effects can be more devastating,” Phivolcs director Renato Solidum warned.

NDRRMC scales up preparation for the “Big One”

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) members convene to discuss plans and preparations for a magnitude 7.2 earthquake on Thursday at the NDRRMC Conference Room, Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

The meeting was attended Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Ismael D Sueno, DSWD Secretary Judy M Taguiwalo and NDRRMC Executive Director and Civil Defense Administrator Usec Ricardo B Jalad and directors of member agencies namely; DILG, DSWD, OCD, DOST-PHIVOLCS, DPWH, DOH, DepEd, DFA, MMDA, PNP, AFP, PCG, BFP, PDRF and ADMU.

The possible effects of a magnitude 7.2 earthquake in Metro Manila and nearby provinces were presented.  Specially focused on are the massive impacts of a strong earthquake in Metro Manila including a huge economic loss.

The MMDA presented Oplan Metro Yakal Plus, which outlines the contigency plan for an earthquake based on the Metro Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study (MMEIRS) and stipulates the twinning system or the regions identified to assist the quadrants in Metro Manila during a response.

Further, Director Felino O Castro V of DSWD explained the National Disaster Response Plan (NDRP) for Earthquake and Tsunami. The plan was approved by the National Council during the recent council meeting on 17 January 2017 and is being cascaded through the DSWD.

During the discussion, members of the National Council emphasized on the full utilization of the NDRP and recommended that Local Government Units (LGUs) align its plans with the NDRP on assisting Metro Manila in the event of an earthquake. The interoperability of all the plans of government agencies and LGUs was discussed during the meeting.

The National Council is set to create a Technical Working Group to draft the guidelines for the creation of local plans for assisting Regions likely to be affected. A team composed of experts was proposed to be organized to monitor the progress of preparations for the implementation of the NDRP for Earthquake and Tsunami.

Sources: Philippine Information Agency, NDRRMC, Rappler, Bandila

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