MANILA — Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar urged the public to take seriously the nationwide earthquake drill on Wednesday as it highlights the importance of disaster preparedness especially in areas close to fault lines.
The 3rd nationwide simultaneous earthquake drill was held 2 p.m.
The quarterly earthquake drill, which was spearheaded by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), is one of the tools instituted by the government to promote disaster preparedness and resiliency among the citizenry.
“Mahalaga na seryosohin natin ang earthquake drill ng NDRRMC. Mabuti ng handa tayo sa anumang sakuna, at ang posibilidad na magkaroon ng malakas na lindol, lalo na sa mga lugar na nasa ibabaw ng West Valley Fault, ay hindi malayo,” Andanar said in a statement.
Andanar’s statement is a timely reminder for Filipinos to be prepared for the “Big One” following the recent earthquake in Mexico that killed more than 300 people on September 19.
The West Valley Fault, which is one of two major segments of the Marikina Valley Fault System, runs through Metro Manila to the cities of Marikina, Quezon City, Pasig, Makati, Taguig and Muntinlupa.
The fault possesses a threat of a large-scale earthquake with an estimated magnitude as high as 7.6.
Such an earthquake is predicted to cause massive destruction of lives and properties in Metro Manila.
The Philippines, which sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire where earthquakes and volcanic activities are common, has had its own share of deadly earthquakes.
The most recent occurred on July 6, 2017, a 6.5 magnitude earthquake hit Leyte, causing at least four deaths and 100 injuries.
On October 15, 2013, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit Bohol.
According to official reports by the NDRRMC, 222 were reported dead, 8 were missing, and 976 people were injured.
In all, more than 73,000 structures were damaged, of which more than 14,500 were totally destroyed.
The deadliest earthquake to hit the Philippines in recent memory occurred on July 16, 1990 when a magnitude 7.7 earthquake hit parts of Central and Northern Luzon and killing an estimated 1,621 people.