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Marikina fault line monitored

- Perseus Echeminada () - October 23, 2009 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Institution of Volcano and Seismology (Phivolcs) is continuously monitoring the movement of the Marikina Valley fault line that passes through the Sierra Madre mountain range, Bulacan, eastern Metro Manila, Rizal, and Tagaytay City in line with the government’s disaster preparedness program.

Dr. Renato Solidum, Phivolcs director, told reporters yesterday at the weekly Daungan ng Balita at Danarra Hotel in Quezon City that in a worst case scenario, the Marikina fault line could generate an earthquake with an intensity of 7.2 in Metro Manila.

Intensity 7 tremors are very destructive and could cause massive damage and large casualties.

Solidum explained this is the worst case scenario because Metro Manila is within the Marikina Valley fault line that starts from the Sierra Madre in Nueva Ecija and extends down to parts of Bulacan, Rizal, Quezon City, Pasig, Marikina, parts of Makati, Santa Rosa in Laguna and crosses to Tagaytay.

Solidum said there is no reason to panic if everyone is prepared, but clarified that the agency has no way to predict earthquakes.

“We have set up a monitoring station to watch the movement of the fault,” he said, adding that the earthquake monitor uses seismographs and Global Position System (GPS) to detect any movement along the fault line.

Solidum cited a study in 2004, which showed that there is a possibility that the Marikina Valley fault line may trigger a very destructive earthquake.

He said the recent flooding in Marikina should serve as a wake-up call for disaster management experts to prepare for and mitigate the impact of an impending calamity.

“We don’t really know where or when the earthquake will strike but we have implemented a disaster preparedness program.”

He urged national and local government officials to strictly implement a land use program, particularly in areas identified as danger zones.

Among the precautionary measure is the setting up of a five-kilometer buffer zone on the Markina Valley fault line and other disaster-prone areas throughout the country.

He said Phivolcs had started distributing pocket sized earthquake preparedness guidelines on what to do before, during, and after an earthquake.

BULACAN DANARRA HOTEL DR. RENATO SOLIDUM FAULT GLOBAL POSITION SYSTEM LINE MARIKINA VALLEY METRO MANILA PHIVOLCS QUEZON CITY SIERRA MADRE
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