Is Region-6 ready for major quakes?

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EARTHQUAKES remain unpredictable but disaster response and reduction managers assured that they are ready to respond to destructive temblors similar to what hit Surigao province last week.

The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC-6) assured that they have come up with necessary preparations in case a major earthquake hits Western Visayas.

RDRRMC-6 Director Rosario Cabrera said earthquake is a type of hazard that is difficult to predict, thus early preparations must be in place to mitigate its effects, like the conduct of drills.

She added that the region has major earthquake generators which make it vulnerable to such kind of risk.

“Unlike flood which is very easy to predict, we do not know when earthquakes will happen. We identify the hazards in our area of responsibility and then we came up with contingency plans. Our different municipal DRRMCs are conducting simultaneous earthquake drills nationwide once every quarter,” she said.

Western Visayas has five earthquake generators – Negros Trench, Central Negros Fault, Tablas Fault, West Panay Fault and the Zone of Castillon Island.

Also, 679 tsunami-prone barangays in Western Visayas located near the Visayan Sea, Guimaras Strait and Sibuyan Sea.

Tsunamis are giant waves caused by earthquakes at sea or ocean.

Cabrera said they also intensified information and education campaigns (IEC) to guide the public on emergency measures in times of disasters.

“When disasters come, our constituents already know what to do, such as vacating to our evacuation centers,” she added.

On Feb. 10, 2017, a 6.7 magnitude quake struck Surigao and its nearby areas, resulting in the death of six persons so far.

Cabrera said the strongest quake experienced by Western Visayas measured magnitude-8.2 in 1948 which damaged the Jaro Belfry.

In February 2012, a magnitude-5 temblor shook Iloilo City and caused structural damage on the Iloilo Hall of Justice.

The city government also ordered an audit of old buildings in the downtown area to ensure their stability and safety.


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