• Bicol disaster responders told to be on call for ‘Big One’

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    LEGAZPI CITY, Albay: Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad, Office of Civil Defense administrator and executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), has told local officials here to be ready in case the “Big One” hits Metro Manila because they will be called on as first responders.

    “The Bicol Region is known as ‘paradise of disasters’ and went through all types of disaster response efforts. In the event that the ‘Big One’ occurs, you will be called as first responders in the National Capital Region [NCR or
    Metro Manila],” Jalad told the local responders.

    He issued the directive during the change of command at the OCD regional office in Bicol.

    He said the government is bracing for the worst once the “Big One” strikes and disaster responders must be ready at all times to assist the affected areas.

    All disaster responders in the country will be tapped but since Bicol is the twin area of NCR, its personnel will be the first responders on the ground.

    “We created the twinning programs so that every region could respond immediately in the event disaster occurs as one region can’t stand by itself,” Jalad said.

    Rene Solidum, Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) director, warned that a possible 7.2 earthquake–the “Big One”–might occur if the West Valley Fault (WVF) along the eastern side of Metro Manila moves.

    Solidum said the WVF has moved four times in the past 1,400 years.

    The last earthquake recorded, according to him, was in 1658 or 355 years ago when the fissure along the WVF moved.

    The WVF runs from the Sierra Madre down to Laguna and crosses the eastern side of Quezon City, western side of Marikina City, western part of Pasig City, the eastern part of Makati City and parts of Taguig City and Muntinlupa City.

    The Phivolcs official warned that the earthquake, which could occur anytime along the WVF, can shake the earth not only in Metro Manila but in neighboring provinces as well.

    The “Big One” may cause liquefaction that could trigger collapse of buildings and houses with weak foundations.

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