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House panel wants to hear MMDA quake plans

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By Ellson Quismorio

All of these recent, strong earthquakes in the country have goosed a House Committee into hearing what the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) intends to do in case the “Big One” strikes.

FAULT MARK – Engineer Cyril Gonzalodo of the Bureau Disaster Risk Reduction Management (BDRRM) indicates the path of the West Valley Fault in Putatan Village in Muntinlupa City. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said the fault line may trigger a magnitude 7.2 earthquake anytime and will affect Metro Manila and several provinces in Southern Luzon. As a result, earthquake drills have been organized and conducted to enhance the preparedness of the public. (Ali Vicoy)

FAULT MARK – Engineer Cyril Gonzalodo of the Bureau Disaster Risk Reduction Management (BDRRM) indicates the path of the West Valley Fault in Putatan Village in Muntinlupa City. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said the fault line may trigger a magnitude 7.2 earthquake anytime and will affect Metro Manila and several provinces in Southern Luzon.  (Credits: Ali Vicoy | Manila Bulletin)

The House panel, chaired by Quezon City 2nd Rep. Winston “Winnie” Castelo, will meet with MMDA officials for this purpose on May 8.

“We have to know what preparations MMDA are doing in case the Big One hits Metro Manila,” Castelo said in justifying the House briefing it requested with the agency.

The lawmaker said it important to know what the MMDA’s contingency plans are in case of such occurrence.

“I want to know how MMDA would respond to situations where ports, hospitals and government buildings are damaged by a tremor just like what happened in Mindanao,” he added.

Recently, a 7.2-magnitude quake hit Davao Occidental and other portions of Mindanao. It was easily the strongest quake to hit the Philippines this year amid a worrying spate of strong tremors.

Seismologists have been saying for years now that the metropolis is long due an earthquake of similar magnitude, particularly originating from the West Valley Fault.

“That kind of quake will have a different impact in Metro Manila where we have lots of tall buildings and very high population,” Castelo said.

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