Preparations for “The Big One” Manila earthquake step up a gear

The West Valley Plate moves about once every 400 years, and is now in the danger zone

Government agencies are stepping up their preparations for the “Big One” — the 7.2-magnitude earthquake expected to one day hit Metro Manila.

It is believed that when the sets off the quake, nearly six million families will be affected.

Now, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is working with the National Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) to to prepare for the quake.

DSWD secretary Judy M Taguiwalo said: “We have handled disasters of huge magnitude and scope before, and we will tap the collective experience and strength of the entire agency to rise to the task of helping should the Big One strike.

“With the threat of the Big One looming, we are focused on improving our disaster response operations so we can prepare better to address its devastating effects.

“As all disasters are local in nature, our team, together with other members of the NDRRMC, are now making the rounds of communities to educate barangays on the steps they need to so that can be more prepared against the earthquake.

“We must strengthen the capabilities of communities and help to be more resilient.”

The DSWD is also preparing for nationwide earthquake drill on Friday (March 31) and is set to publish a disaster response manual.

According to analysts, the greatest impact of the Big One would be felt in the National Capital Region, Cavite, Bulacan, Laguna, Rizal, Pampanga, Zambales, and Aurora. A total of 5,828,967 families in these regions would be affected.

These people would need 5.8 million ‘family food packs’ worth more than two billion pesos in the first two days alone.


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