Makati prepares for ‘Big One’; slates dialogues in four ‘high-risk’ barangays this March

MANILA-- The city government of Makati on Friday announced that it will convene a residents' assembly this month in each of the four barangays transected by the West Valley Fault (WVF) as part of its preparations for a magnitude 7.2-earthquake forecast by seismologists to occur in Metro Manila anytime.

In a statement, Makati Mayor Abby Binay said the assemblies would be held prior to the implementation of the West Valley Fault Marker Installation Project in Barangays Comembo, East Rembo, Pembo and Rizal.

Binay said the project aims to raise the awareness of residents and other stakeholders on the actual track of the WVF, based on the Walk-the-Fault activity jointly conducted by the PHIVOLCS and the city government. Experts from PHIVOLCS would be invited to attend the assemblies, she said.

"For residents and stakeholders to better appreciate the significance of the markers, they need to be fully aware of the hazards they face in the event of a major earthquake. We will also apprise them of interventions being done and planned by the city government to mitigate damage to lives and properties, and facilitate recovery and rehabilitation," Binay said.

The WVF marker installation project is part of the Revised Makati Earthquake Contingency Plan based on the Model 8 scenario of the Metro Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study (MMEIRS) 2004.

Based on the MMEIRS results, the projected impact of a magnitude 7.2 earthquake on Makati is as follows: 21,205 dead, 84,822 injured and 1,260,000 affected persons. Meanwhile, 9,092 structures will be heavily damaged, 16,694 partially damaged while 4,983 will be burned down.

The mayor called on concerned barangay officials and residents to make time for the assembly, slated in Comembo on March 8 at 9 a.m. at the Comembo Covered Court. The rest are scheduled as follows: Rizal on March 15, Pembo on March 22, and East Rembo on March 29. The time and venue for the three barangays will be confirmed later.

Earthquake hazards faced by barangays transected by the fault line include ground shaking, ground rupture and liquefaction, as well as its secondary hazard, fire.

There are 152 identified areas for the markers and 'mohons' (concrete landmarks) in the four barangays, to be distributed as follows: East Rembo (32 mohons and 25 markers); Comembo (three mohons and two markers); Pembo (34 mohons and 19 markers); and Rizal (20 mohons and 17 markers).

Under the Comprehensive Land Use Plan 2013-2023 and its corresponding Zoning Ordinance, the 10-meter buffer zone of the West Valley Fault (five meters on both sides) is delineated as 'open space' with corresponding development strategies.

The Makati Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (DRRMO) and the Makati DRRM Council, chaired by Mayor Binay, continue to lead in building resilient and sustainable communities through innovative interventions aimed to prevent, mitigate, prepare, respond and immediately recover from the different risks that the city faces.

The city has allocated Php 625 million for its Local DRRM Fund budget this year, which includes Php 137.8 million for its programs and operating costs (MOOE) and Php 299.6 million for its capital expenditures (CO). Thirty percent of the total fund is allocated to Quick Response Fund, Php 187.5 million.

Approved DRRM programs for the year include Emergency Medical and Rescue Services (MOOE: Php 44.5 million; CO: Php 64.4 million); Risk Analysis: Hazard Identification and Vulnerability Assessment - Mitigation (MOOE: P53.7 million; CO: Php 9.4 million); Civil Protection and Coordination of Disaster Response Operations (MOOE: Php 15.5 million; CO: Php 2.7 million); Electronic Surveillance Services (MOOE: Php 24 million; CO: Php 223 million).

In 2016, the DRRMO conducted a number of trainings and workshops designed to build the disaster-response capabilities of all frontline city government personnel, including a capacity building workshop on Earthquake Awareness and Preparedness for 50 participants.

Other trainings held were on Rapid Earthquake Damage Assessment System (REDAS) in partnership with PHIVOLCS, Basic Incident Command System in partnership with the Office of Civil Defense, and Basics of DRRM Operations for new C3 personnel, among others.

The DRRMO also conducts periodic earthquake evacuation drills in the barangays and schools in collaboration with national agencies, including the Bureau of Fire Protection-Makati, Makati Police Department and Philippine Red Cross.

Makati is known for being the first LGU in the country to craft a risk-sensitive land use plan and corresponding zoning ordinance. These development tools earned the approval of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board in 2013.

In 2014, PHIVOLCS director Renato Solidum cited Makati as "the most prepared city in Metro Manila against geological hazards, including an earthquake." (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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