IN THE wake of the 8.2 magnitude earthquake in Chile, Senator Loren Legarda on Thursday reminded Filipinos to prepare for strong quakes, stressing that even a 7.2 magnitude earthquake in the Philippines could already result in massive devastation.
Legarda warned further that according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), the Marikina Valley Fault Line is ripe for movement but no one can predict the exact time when it will move.
"This makes preparedness for such eventuality even more important," said Legarda.
Earlier, Legarda stressed the need to conduct monthly safety drills in schools and hospitals, which are critical infrastructures since these are shelters for the vulnerable—children, the sick and elderly.
"We want to institutionalize monthly safety drills in all educational and healthcare facilities. But this should not be limited to schools and hospitals. Government institutions, private companies, local government units and even households should conduct regular emergency drills because these activities will help instill disaster preparedness in our citizens," she said.
Legarda said that being prepared means that when a natural hazard such as an earthquake strikes, every citizen would know what to do and where to go, and that government agencies, both national and local, are ready to respond.
The senator added that aside from preparedness, another important goal is disaster prevention, which ensures zero or low casualty and less damage to properties.
"As part of our disaster preparedness and prevention strategies, we should regularly evaluate and retrofit buildings and critical structures, set up early warning systems and identify safe refuge for our citizens," Legarda said.
Legarda added that concerned government agencies should establish necessary mechanisms to secure communities from the devastating effects of disasters such as earthquakes.
"We will also continue to urge communities to take the initiative in making sure that they are well prepared and will not be caught off guard when natural hazards strike," Legarda concluded. (Camille P. Balagtas/Sunnex)