Editorial: Taking the 'Big One' seriously

ON MONDAY, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) warned that should the Mati Fault Segment move, it may trigger an earthquake that could reach a magnitude of eight or higher.

"Ang kanyang pwedeng i-release na magnitude is actually eight or greater. Ibig sabihin niyan kahit malakas 'yong lindol 'don sa Mati area, 'yong greatest impact niya or as to damage toll, mas madami talaga is from Davao City kahit nanggaling 'yong epicenter sa Mati," Svetlana Cataoera said in a press conference Monday, July 15, at the Grand Regal Hotel.

This is not only the fault segment Davao Region should worry about. The bustling Davao City is also in danger, as it sits atop the Central Davao Fault System, which is comprised of five segments.

The Central Davao Fault System has five segments, including the Tamugan Fault with 25 kilometers (kms) length and can produce 6.7-magnitude earthquake; Lacson Fault with 33 kms and can trigger a 6.8-magnitude quake; 18-kilometer Dacudao Fault with 6.5-magnitude quake; Pangyan-Biao with 33 kms and 6.8-magnitude quake; and the 12-kilometer New Carmen Fault that may cause a 6.3-magnitude earthquake.

As unpredictable as earthquakes can be, we should take this information seriously.

For instance, 60 barangays in Davao City that transect the Central Davao Fault System are in danger of being destroyed should a strong earthquake be triggered by the fault.

Currently, there is no technology that can predict as to when earthquakes occur. Unlike tsunamis, typhoons, floods, and volcanic eruptions, we have warning systems in place. However, when earthquakes strike, they strike without warning.

Therefore, it is important that we prepare for any earthquakes that may happen in the future. This means, having general knowledge on what to do should an earthquake strike.

Likewise, the government must also be prepared for disasters caused by an earthquake.

It is good to note that in Davao City, the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Center (CDRRMC) has been taking steps to prepare the city for any major earthquakes.

He said they have been conducting several earthquake drills to train the public about the drop, cover, and hold to protect themselves during an earthquake as well as how to respond after a disaster.

Svetlana Cataoera, Project Assistant 1 of Phivolcs Davao Field Office, said they also recommended the implementation of a no-building zone especially on top of the active fault line to prevent damage.

It is important for the city, the national government, and those living here to know this information and plan accordingly. We cannot just shove this information under the rug.


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