13 more schools near East, West Valley fault lines
MANILA, Philippines – At least 13 more schools are near the East and West Valley fault lines, the Department of Education (DepEd) disclosed on Tuesday, June 16.
The schools listed below are transected by either the East or West Valley fault lines, or within the 5-meter buffer zone. Eight of these are private schools, and 5 are public schools:
West Valley Fault
WITHIN 5-METER BUFFER ZONE
West Valley Fault
East Valley Fault
|Tagumpay Elementary School
Tagumpay Elementary School is neither transected by the fault lines nor located in the buffer zone but is approximately 30 meters east of the West Valley Fault. DepEd included this school considering that the road leading to it is near the fault line. (READ: Schools, hospitals near West Valley Fault)
The department also listed Karahumi Elementary School, which is already one of 5 public schools identified a week before classes started on June 1.
Metro Manila and nearby provinces are vulnerable to a major earthquake that could happen once the West Valley Fault moves.
The fault is expected to greatly affect the country since Metro Manila is not only highly populated, it also hosts the seat of government and the country's business capital.
Preparing for the 'Big One'
Some schools have prepared for the earthquake by taking the following precautions:
- Army's Angels Integrated School adjusted its student-classroom ratio (1:25) for easier management during emergencies.
- Our Lady of the Abandoned Catholic School scheduled shifting classes from Kindergarten to Grade 6.
- APEC School Muntinlupa closed its building and moved classes to the APEC Sucat branch. New enrollees can either avail of 1) free special shuttle; 2) enrollment in any APEC School branches with 30% discount, or; 3) 100% full refund of all payments made to date.
- Macabud National High School distributed whistles to all students.
- Mascap Elementary School will conduct earthquake and fire drills once a month for school year 2015-2016.
"Our agreement with Phivolcs is that if a building is actually transected by the fault line, we will not use that building," Education Secretary Armin Luistro said in a press briefing.
He added: "If a part of the building is transected, we will consult with structural engineers and we will ask them to give us their expert advice on whether the building can be retrofitted, or a part of the building can still be used after retrofitting."
Association of Structural Engineers of the Philippines President Carlos Villaraza encouraged schools to consider retrofitting-affected buildings. He estimated that the cost of retrofitting should only be around 10% of the original building cost.
The secretary said all private and public schools in Metro Manila should participate in the metrowide earthquake drill that will be led by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority.
For him, a metrowide drill will allow schools to prepare for different scenarios in the event of a powerful earthquake, such as a shutdown of all services. – Rappler.com