MANILA, Philippines – On August 2, 1968, more than 250 people died in Ruby Tower, a 6-storey hotel in Manila, which collapsed after a magnitude-7.3 earthquake struck at 4 am.
The earthquake’s epicenter, however, was nowhere near Manila. It was in Casiguran, Aurora, some 300 km away. Nevertheless, the city was severely affected.
That will be incomparable, however, to what experts describe as the “next big one.”
According to the 2004 Metro Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study (MMEIRS), a magnitude-7.2 earthquake in Metro Manila could destroy 40% of buildings and kill about 40,000 people.
How prepared is the Philippines for the “big one”?
While earthquake drills are conducted in different parts of the country every year, not everyone takes them seriously, and the basic steps are improperly executed. (READ: Manila holds drill for big quake that can ‘happen in our lifetime’)
Renato Solidum, director of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, said the public should do the following in case of an earthquake:
- Stay indoors if one is already in a house or structurally-sound building
- Duck, cover, and hold on to something sturdy
- After the shaking stops, those indoors should evacuate to a safe open space
The Philippines will practice these tips on Friday, March 27.
At 9 am on March 27, various government agencies will conduct #OplanPagyanig, a nationwide simultaneous earthquake drill to test the government’s readiness to react in the event of a major quake.
The drill will be spearheaded by Marikina City, the city most vulnerable to the West Valley fault line. It will involve major government agencies, businesses, and civil society organizations.
The public is encouraged to take part in the nationwide earthquake drill by recording and sharing their own duck, cover, and hold videos on social media and by conducting their own duck, cover, and hold drills at 9 am on March 27.
You can share your videos and photos on social media using the hashtag #OplanPagyanig.
Whether in the office, at school, at home, or outdoors, you can practice what to do in case of an earthquake.
MovePH, Rappler’s citizen engagement arm, has partnered with the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) to cover the event via livestream and on social media. MovePH will also hold a Facebook conversation at 2 pm on Thursday, March 26, to discuss earthquake preparedness and safety tips.
On March 21, Project MOVE – Rappler’s series of regular discussions promoting foresight and safety, and fostering a culture of preparedness – will talk to experts on geohazards and how to prepare for such disasters.
Natural hazards will always be a part of Filipinos’ lives. With its location along the Pacific Ocean’s Ring of Fire – where seismic activities such as earthquakes occur on a daily basis – the archipelago is surrounded by active fault lines and trenches, making it prone to geological hazards.
This is why Filipinos should start preparing by knowing what to do and where to go when a disaster strikes.
Watch this video of Marikina DRRM officers doing the Duck, Cover, and Hold exercise.
MovePH is looking for partners that will help us disseminate the information. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if your organization is interested to participate in the nationwide earthquake drill. We can shoot your video and include your logo in our earthquake drill partners’ page.
There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.