Residents in Metro Manila and nearby provinces should prepare for a “mega earthquake” that could destroy major infrastructure and kill thousands of people, the Philippine Institute for Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has warned.
In a radio interview on Friday, Phivolcs director Renato Solidum reiterated the warning because the West Valley Fault traversing across Metro Manila is ripe for a possible strong earthquake.
He noted that the fault usually moves every 400 to 600 years, and that the last time a strong quake occurred was in 1658 or 357 years ago.
Solidum issued the statement following the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that rocked Nepal last month. More than 8,000 reportedly died in the incident, with thousands left injured and homeless.
Last year, a joint study conducted by local government agencies and the Australian government showed that a magnitude 7.2-earthquake in the West Valley Fault could kill 37,054 people and cause P2.4 trillion in damages.
The results were “very statistically similar” with the Metro Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study undertaken by Phivolcs, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and the Japan International Cooperation Agency in 2004, Solidum said.
On Monday, Phivolcs will distribute to local government officials copies of the Valley Fault Atlas, a handbook of large scale maps showing in detail areas traversed by the Valley Fault System.
– Janvic Mateo