Last 22nd of June 2016, marked the 2nd Metro Manila Shake Drill. A couple of weeks earlier, from last year’s July 30, 2015 earthquake drill. I’ve personally experienced and participated in one, when I was still based in Eastwood City. During the exercises, it got me thinking if how devastating can the “Big One” affect the structures in the area, considering the number of high-rise buildings within the satellite city and its proximity to the West Valley Fault? My imagination took me a bit to the extreme, as I’ve also watched the San Andreas movie, two months before the first timely metro-wide earthquake drill. Though the answer is uncertain, there’s one thing that’s certain at that particular moment, it’s beneficial to have the said earthquake drill happening around us. In order to create awareness and to serve as a reminder to those who work and live in the area, on what to expect and do, if a massive 7.2 magnitude earthquake hits any part of the Metro Manila or nearby provinces.
Now on its second year, the government is more proactive and they even came up with a promotional dance challenge video (which you may find below) for the said exercise. This just goes to show that our government are pushing its efforts and showing its consistency in empowering the public of the importance of being informed and prepared. What made this year’s earthquake drill better (you may watch last year and this year’s coverage below by Rappler), is the fact that it’s being implemented nationwide, as opposed to last year’s metro-wide execution. And since we don’t really know when and where the next “Big One” will strike, it’s for the benefit of everyone to be informed and prepared.
The government have done their part. Our role now as individuals and responsible citizens of this country, is to spread the knowledge, especially to those who didn’t get a chance to participate in actual drills. It will also help mitigate the possible effects of this kind of disaster, by possibly uprooting ourselves and our loved ones (even friends, if you also care enough for them), away from those areas that are on top of active faults or within a 5-meter buffer zone on either side of the fault (you may find the high-resolution West Valley Fault maps here). Now, if you happen to be within close proximity to the West Valley Fault, there are safety measures that you can use (and can be found here) to make your house or property earthquake-resistant.
Lastly, as a Real Estate Practitioner, and in my simple way of guiding and informing the public, for their future property purchase, you may find this site helpful in verifying the approximate distance of your property or the property that you are considering from the West Valley Fault. And although a property outside the minimum 5-meter buffer zone of the fault was considered buildable by PHIVOLCS, it’ll be to your greater advantage and you’ll have a better peace of mind, knowing that you’re farther away from a fault line, than the other way around. It may not guarantee your family or property’s safety, and nothing on this earth will. However, we must exhaust all means and tools available, for us to arrive at a more guided and informed decision.