140 city, provincial schools on quake fault

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THE Department of Education (DepEd) has revealed that there are 140 public schools within the 100-kilometer West Valley Fault.

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But Education Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro on Tueday assured that the schools are structurally sound, despite the threat of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake.

Luistro explained that all school buildings built after 1992 can be considered as structurally sound.

“Based on our study, all schools built after 1992 are structurally sound and we have faith in their structural integrity,” he said of the 140 public schools.

There are five public schools that transect the fault line, according to Luistro.

All in Metro Manila, these are Barangka National High School in Marikina City; Alabang Elementary School, Pedro Diaz High School and Buli Elementary School in Muntinlupa City; and Anne Claire Montessori in Taguig City.

Buli Elementary School was added to the list after one building with 10 classrooms there turned out to be on top of the fault line.

Four buildings of Pedro Diaz High School are also near the fault line.

School officials there will announce on June 1 when classes will open.

Building C of Anne Claire Montessori is also on top of a fault line.

Classes in the school will open on June 8.

The administration building of Alabang Elementary School, which is sitting on a fault line, has been demolished.

Luistro has ordered department engineers to check the structural integrity of the affected schools.

Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) Director Renato Solidum Jr. said the number of schools that lie directly on the fault line could increase, since the number does not yet include private schools.

Meanwhile, students from Pedro Diaz High School are not assured that they will hold their first day of classes on June 1 because DepEd will still consult Phivolcs on the structural integrity of the four buildings traversed by the fault line.

Luistro said results of assessment on the structural integrity of the four buildings will be announced on Friday.

He added that the five schools have contingency plans in place should an earthquake strike.

The West Valley Fault, which Phivolcs said has the ability to generate a magnitude 7.2 quake, traverses 18 cities and municipalities in Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Laguna, Rizal and Cavite.

Phivolcs said the last quake generated from the area was recorded in 1658.

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