MANILA, July 12 (PNA) — All is set for the first Metro Manila-wide earthquake drill on July 30, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino said on Sunday as he urged everybody to participate and cooperate.
Tolentino said the drill will cover 16 cities and one town in Metro Manila, involving 12 million people.
To signal the start of the drill, which will begin at 10:30 a.m. and last for a full hour until 11:30 a.m., Tolentino said sirens and fire alarms will blare and church bells will ring.
He said Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) Director Renato Solidum will announce on radio and television stations that “a magnitude 7.2 earthquake has struck along the West Valley Fault.”
The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) will also help in disseminating the information by sending a text blast to residents to announce the drill.
Metro Manila will be divided into four evacuation areas: Intramuros Golf Course in the west; Veterans Memorial Medical Center Golf Course in the north; Light Rail Transit (LRT) 2 depot in the east; and Villamor Air Base Golf Course in the south.
Tolentino also clarified that power and communications lines will not be interrupted during the drill.
Meanwhile, the Phivolcs is studying if there is a connection between the West Valley Fault and the East Valley Fault as part of the preparation for the anticipated strong quake or the “Big One.”
Ishmael C. Narag, OIC Seismological, Observation and Earthquake Prediction Division of Phivolcs, said the study is very important in order for them to determine if this would cause longer rupture.
“Part of the study that we are doing is to know if there is a connection between the West Valley Fault and the East Valley Fault. If there is a connection, that would cause longer rupture,” Narag said during a recent meeting with officials of the MMDA in Makati City.
Narag said there is a possibility that when the West Valley Fault shakes, it would trigger the East Valley Fault.
“So if the WVF moves, it increases the stress towards the adjacent faults,” he added. (PNA)