• Unite for ‘big one,’ barangay urged


    THE Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Thursday called on all barangays situated on both sides of the East and West Valley Faults to unite in preparation for the “Big One.”

    MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino met with officials of 84 barangays to discuss preparations in case Metro Manila is hit by a strong earthquake.

    “We are here to create a doable action. We’ll be certain as we exit the doors, we’ve made a concrete plan in the event an earthquake hits,” he told barangay officials.

    A forum was also organized by the MMDA dubbed as “Kaalaman sa Paghahanda sa Lindol” held at the Metro Manila Film Fest (MMFF) Cinema.

    The forum discussed the precautions and necessary actions to be taken to survive in case the Valley Fault System (VFS) moves.

    “We can do so much, what you can do as barangay officials is to disseminate information to your people,” Tolentino said.

    The officials’ answers to questionnaires handed during the meeting will be collated and taken into account in preparation for the earthquake.

    “We are not here to provoke fear, nor are we here to just give awareness. We are here to unite. We can’t go against an earthquake, but if we work as one, we can do so much to save many,” Tolentino said.

    MMDA Flood Control Information Center head Ramon Santiago stressed the importance of community-level preparedness.

    “It’s important that the help begins from the barangays,” said Santiago, a member of the 7-man team sent to Kathmandu, Nepal.

    He discussed the actions taken by MMDA such as risk assessment of areas, tools for rescue missions and rescue trainings.

    Santiago called for the evacuation of schools located near fault lines.
    Ishmael Narag, Officer in Charge of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) Seismology Division said local government units should have their own copy of the VFS Atlas and coordinate with specialists.

    The atlas shows in detail the areas that transect fault lines indicating particular situations that may occur should the earthquake hits.


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