MANILA, Philippines – The country’s chief seismologist has appealed to Metro Manila residents to take part in the one-hour metro-wide earthquake drill on Thursday.
Renato Solidum, director of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), said the cooperation of all sectors is important.
“Whatever you are doing, you must know the proper response during a major earthquake,” Solidum told The STAR on Saturday.
He said the drill – the first ever – aims to make sure that people and businesses can go back to normalcy after a powerful earthquake.
The drill will be conducted from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Metro Manila will be divided into four evacuation areas: Intramuros golf course in the west, Veterans Memorial Medical Center golf course in the north, the Light Rail Transit 2 (LRT2) depot in the east, and Villamor Airbase golf course in the south.
“We encourage everyone to participate,” Solidum said.
Phivolcs had warned that the country is due for a powerful earthquake once the West Valley Fault, which traverses various parts of Metro Manila and surrounding provinces, moves.
The fault is capable of generating a 7.2-magnitude earthquake in Metro Manila, a force that is strong enough to kill 34,000 people and injure 114,000 others, according to a 2004 study conducted by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Phivolcs and the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
Solidum said the MMDA and its partner-agencies plan to hold the metro-wide earthquake drill every year.