Senator Loren Legarda said some days ago that the magnitude-5.7 earthquake that hit Batangas and jolted nearby areas, including Metro Manila, on June 24 should serve as a reminder to Filipinos to always be prepared for earthquakes.
“We do not want to sow fear… but we have to constantly remind everyone to prepare for earthquakes because we cannot predict when they will occur,” Legarda said.
The quake, tectonic in nature, the epicentre of which was in Calatagan, Batangas, sent strong tremors through the capital city, as well as Makati’s central business and financial district.
No damage was reported as a result of the earthquake, which triggered at least one aftershock with a magnitude of 2.3.
Legarda cited the 2004 Metro Manila Earthquake Reduction Study (MMEIRS), and said that the3 country, chiefly Metro Manila, should be prepared for a magnitude-7.2 earthquake.
Projections from MMEIRS, showed that a quake of such magnitude in Metro Manila has the potential of leaving more than 33,000 dead and 113,000 injured.
Legarda encouraged that buildings be retrofitted, and that public safety drills be conducted on a regular basis to ascertain that buildings, bridges and other infrastructure will stand against strong tremblors.
“[T]he conduct of earthquake drills will enable our citizens to respond quickly and this will equip our people with knowledge of what to do before, during and after such disasters,” she added.
The senator also called upon government to beef up contingency measures, especially for utilities and communications, as well as to establish early warning systems and implement emergency evacuation plans, for quick and more efficient response to situations of disaster.