Major earthquake likely to throw Metro Manila into Haiti-like state of chaos; disaster management systems insufficient, say experts

Pacific Strategies and Assessments (PSA) said a major earthquake would likely throw Metro Manila into a state of chaos, reports The Philippine Star. According to the 2004 Metro Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study (MMEIRS), "withheld from the public for four years" reported The Philippine Star, earthquake generators surround the metro and active phases of the West Valley Fault--which runs from Marikina to Pasig and Muntinlupa and to the south of the metro--are approaching.

For instance, a 7.2-magnitude earthquake originating from the West Valley Fault would instantly kill 34,000 people and cause injuries to 110,000 people. Also, 13 percent of residential buildings would collapse or be damaged resulting to 1.2 million homeless people; 4,000 water supply points would be cut; 100 kilometers of telecommunication cables would be suspended; and all roads would be disabled.


The PSA which provides "security consulting, crisis management, business intelligence, investigations and background screening services [and] specializes in Asian risk," according to The Philippine Star, said Metro Manila "would more closely resemble" Haiti capital Port-au-Prince, the coast of which was near the center of a 7.0-magnitude earthquake in January this year, than the cities recently rocked in China and Chile. The body estimates it could take months or years to rehabilitate Metro Manila following a major earthquake.

The PSA released its study’s key findings to The Philippine Star, which include the following: the soil composition of the metro is not suitable for construction of big infrastructure; an offshore quake could spark a sea surge that would flood old Manila via the Manila Bay; many buildings made of substandard materials are built on hazard-prone areas; and evacuation areas are currently less than one percent of the total land area of the metro.


24 Oras video: Nothing to worry about frequent quakes at Moro Gulf--Phivolcs

Far south, the Moro Gulf off Mindanao experienced three major undersea earthquakes with 6.8 and 7.1 magnitudes on July 24, reports Inquirer.net. Because the quakes occurred in very deep waters, there was no land damage, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs). There had been 395 aftershocks recorded from July 24 to August 3, according to 24 Oras. The aftershocks are only natural and will likely occur for months, Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum, Jr. told 24 Oras.

The Philippines and "more than half of the world’s active volcanoes above sea level" are part of the Pacific Ring of Fire," notorious for frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions," according to BBC.co.uk

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