MMDA to mark areas on fault line with ‘thermoplastic paint’

By , on June 19, 2015

MMDA's earthquake disaster forum with barangay officials as part of its preparation for the projected earthquake to hit the country (Photo from MMDA's website)
MMDA’s earthquake disaster forum with barangay officials as part of its preparation for the projected earthquake to hit the country (Photo from MMDA’s website)

MANILA – In preparation to a possible earthquake that may hit the country, the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) sought to mark six cities in Metro Manila and Rizal which transect the 100-kilometer West Valley Fault.

Traversed areas in Makati, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Pasig, Quezon, Taguig and Rodriguez, Rizal would be marked with thermoplastic paint that was said to last up to five years. Taguig was the first to be marked.

The MMDA initiatied this move together with the help of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs). The MMDA used Phivolcs’ Valley Fault System Atlas in tracing the fault line.

“Hindi basta-basta marking lang eh, kailangan eksakto—‘yung eksaktong fault line ‘yung paglalatagan, hindi po ‘yung tyambahan lang… Kaya may kasama kaming seismologist ng Phivolcs at may compass siya kung saan talaga ‘yung eksaktong lugar,” MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino said in an interview with Radyo Inquirer 990AM.

([It’s] not simply marking, it has to be exact – [the marker should be painted] on the exact fault line, not merely hit or miss… That’s why we are accompanied by a seismologist from Phivolcs and he has a compass [that points] where the exact area is.)

“The Valley Fault System Atlas was conceptualized as a handy reference for everyone to serve as a guide in making sure that areas traversed by active faults are avoided as sites of houses and structures and considered in various mitigation and response actions to enhance the safety and resilience of communities to strong earthquake events,” Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum earlier said.

The MMDA aimed to put the markers in exact spots but to areas with houses or buildings built above the fault line, the markers would then be painted near them.

“Halimbawa po nasa gate [‘yung marker], understood na po ‘yan na tatamaan kayo,” Tolentino said.

(For example, [if the marker] is in your gate, it is already understood that you will be hit [should an earthquake occur].)

For the public’s part, Tolentino called on everyone to participate in the metro-wide earthquake drill on July 30. He hoped that the public would take the drill seriously as it will greatly help them respond correctly should an earthquake indeed happen.

For increased awareness and preparedness, the MMDA urged the people to visit the site

A 7.2 magnitude earthquake is projected to hit Metro Manila and Rizal anytime. The earthquake may kill up to 37,000 people and injure 148,000 others.