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Are you ready for the Big One?

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, April 16th, 2019

Experts warn of the so-called “Big One” – a staggering 7.2 magnitude earthquake brewing in the West Valley fault that could wipe out 114,000 homes in Metro Manila and claim 34,000 lives in one devastating hour.

The West Valley Fault is a 100-kilometer fault line that traverses the cities of Marikina, Quezon City, Pasig, Taguig, Makati, Muntinlupa, and other nearby provinces.

The fault moves every 400 years. Its recorded last move was 357 years ago. This means that the West Valley Fault is now ripe for another strong quake that could occur anytime.

A study conducted by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), paints a harrowing scenario of the Big One’s aftermath.

Around 10% of the buildings in Metro Manila will be severely damaged while seven bridges are expected to collapse.

Predicted to be severely affected are providers of utilities such as power, water and telecomunication.

Around 4,615 kilometers of water pipes will be subjected to 4,000 points of breakage. Thirty kilometers of electric cables will be cut resulting in a massive black out. Meanwhile, 95 kilometers of telecom cables will be disconnected, causing mobile phone services to be congested and out of use.

Fires are also expected to occur due to short circuits and gas leakages. Twenty thousand people are estimated to perish from being trapped in these burning buildings.

Aside from Metro Manila, some parts of Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna and Cavite will also be affected.

So, the question to all: Are you ready for the Big One?

Public service advocate, Kuya Daniel Razon, through his “Tulong Muna Bago Balita” campaign, has been hosting a UNTV Rescue Summit to help the government prepare the public and local government rescue units for the eventual movement of the West Valley Fault.

In partnership with the Marikina City government, the 4th Rescue Summit will be held on April 28, 2019, Sunday at the Marikina Sports Center.

Starting at 6:00 AM, the whole day event will be packed with rescue competitions, seminars and exhibits which will be capped by a mini-concert to be hosted by the Rescue Summit’s radio partner, Wish 107.5.

Prepare yourself and your family for the Big One. Join the 4th UNTV Rescue Summit. Admission is free. — Raymond Lacsa

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5.5 magnitude quake jolts Surigao del Sur

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Saturday, July 13th, 2019

A magnitude 5.5 earthquake jolted Surigao del Sur and its neighboring provinces early morning Saturday, July 13.

According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), the earthquake, recorded at 4:42 a.m., was tectonic in origin and had a depth of 5 kilometers.

The epicenter was located at 8 kilometers Northwest of Cortes town.

Intensity IV was recorded in Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental;
Intensity II in Cebu City and Borongan City; and Intensity I – Bislig City and Cagayan de Oro City.

Authorities are still searching thru the affected areas to estimate the total damage and casualties brought by the quake.

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Metro Manila shake drill set on July 27 – MMDA

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, July 12th, 2019

FILE: PNP National Headquarters participated in the 1st Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) on April 21, 2016. Response and Rescue operations were also done during the activity. (Photo: PNP FB Page)

MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is set to hold an earthquake drill, dubbed as Metro Manila Shake Drill, on July 27.

MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia said this year’s shake drill will start as early as four in the morning, to be signaled by the sounding of an alarm.

“For this year, it will be done on a weekend and at almost the break of dawn when most Metro Manila residents are at home and asleep,” he said.

“We are doing this to prepare everyone to minimize damage and loss of life,” he added.

Garcia said they intentionally scheduled the drill very early in the morning so the public can participate.

Shake drills in the past years were done during daytime and even on rush hours, with last year leveling up to an unannounced, rush hour daytime drill.

“We want to test the response capabilities and preparedness of LGUs and the private sector as earthquake may occur anytime,” Garcia said.

The MMDA official added that during the shake drill, they will mobilize agency employees, Metro local government units and other groups to demonstrate their contingency plans in case strong earthquake hits the metropolis.

MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim, also the head of the Metro Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MMDRRMC), will visit city halls and designated emergency operation centers in the metro on the day of the drill.

Different emergency scenarios will also be staged at city hall offices, establishments, communities, businesses, and households.

“We expect more active and full participation of the private sector as government’s partner in disaster and emergency preparedness and response for Metro Manila,” said Garcia.

During the drill, the agency will also practice the deployment of personnel to designated emergency operation centers located at the four quadrants in Metro Manila.

The MMDA said the northern quadrant will use the Veterans Memorial Medical Center Golf Course as evacuation camp while the western quadrant will use the Intramuros Golf Course.

The eastern quadrant will use the LRT-2 Santolan Depot while the southern quadrant will use the Villamor Golf Course.

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DOTr’s Tugade meets with Tolentino on emergency powers bid vs PH traffic woes

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, July 10th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade on Wednesday met with Senator Francis Tolentino to discuss plans on refiling an emergency powers bill to solve the country’s traffic woes, particularly in Metro Manila.

Tugade said he met with Tolentino to tackle the measure that has been pending in both chambers of Congress for more than two years.

The transportation chief said he will do his best to convince lawmakers to pass the bill, which he sees as a vital solution to the country’s perennial problem on traffic.

“‘Wag po nating pabaunan ng duda ‘yung deliberasyon, pababaunan ko yan ng kaliwanagan sa pag-uusap. Naniniwala ako na kung ang mga mag-uusap ay may kaliwanagan, magkakaroon ng kooperasyon, pwede po nating mapadali ito,” he told reporters in an interview.

(Let us not cast doubt on the deliberation, I will shed light on its importance during discussion. I believe than when it is tackled by people who understand it, there will be cooperation. This can be fast-tracked.)

Tolentino earlier said he will push for the emergency powers bid once the incoming 18th Congress convenes on July 22.

The lawmaker said his version of the bill focuses on strengthening the mandate of concerned agencies and local government units to address the traffic crisis.

“Nalagyan natin ng ibang detalye na wala dati, for instance ‘yung working hours, ‘yung adjustment ng oras ng pagpasok at yung role ng mga local government units,” he said.

(We have placed there details that are not present in the previous bill, for instance the working hours, adjustment of working hours and the role of local government units.)

The bill seeking to ease the worsening traffic situation was first filed after Duterte said in his 2016 State of the Nation Address that traffic problems should be legitimately addressed if Congress could accord him emergency powers.

He eventually gave up on his plan after some lawmakers said that the emergency powers might be used for corruption.

Under the proposed Traffic Crisis Act, previously filed in the 17th Congress, the Transportation Secretary will be designated as Traffic Chief with power of control and supervision over land transportation agencies. He will also have the authority to harmonize and enforce all traffic rules and regulations to implement a unified traffic system throughout each of the metropolitan areas and implement programs that will have significant impact on addressing the traffic crisis.

The bill was approved on third and final reading of the House of Representatives while its Senate version reached the plenary but was not approved until the 17th Congress adjourned.

Although there is a need to resolve the worsening traffic woes in the country, the DOTr said that once the bill is refiled, they will not ask the president to certify it as urgent.

“Kung magkasundo po kami sa mga datos at detalye, hindi po ba mas magandang pumunta kami kay pangulo na handa na yung detalye kaysa blanket na hihingin na wala pang detalye?  Hindi ho ba mas magandang proseso yung ganun?” he said. (with details from Nel Maribojoc)

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