MMDA pushes quake risk survey
(The Philippine Star) - October 24, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Following the magnitude 7.2 tremor that toppled churches and buildings in Bohol and Cebu, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) yesterday pushed for the conduct of a metropolis-wide earthquake risk survey.

MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said the earthquake risk survey is vital in identifying public and private buildings, including residential houses, which have structural deficiencies and will enable local engineers and building officials to implement corrective measures.

“In view of the clamor to revisit some of the provisions of the National Building Code, we should start this earthquake risk audit so we can plan and implement contingency measures in case a strong earthquake hits Metro Manila,” Tolentino said.

The MMDA said an earthquake survey would be similar to a population census and will be simultaneously carried out by the 17 local government units (LGUs) in the metropolis, tapping local engineering students from various universities as enumerators.

Tolentino explained these enumerators will be the ones doing the house-to-house inspection and survey, which will focus on the structural integrity of the structure.

 Tolentino said data gathered from the house-to-house survey shall be used by the local building and engineering offices to retrofit the identified structures.

Tolentino cited the findings made by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), which predicted 37,000 deaths in Metro Manila alone in the event of a magnitude 7.2 earthquake.

Airlines want drills

Thirty-two foreign airlines, all members of the Airline Operators Council (AOC) operating at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1, urged the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), which runs the NAIA-1, to hold “simulated earthquake exercises” immediately.

The AOC said the NAIA-1 never had a fully equipped crisis management team to handle the aftermath of an earthquake.

Airline officials expressed doubt whether the MIAA would have the capability to take care of injured travelers, particularly those who may be trapped in NAIA-1. They noted that NAIA-1 has been undergoing repairs for the last two years.

The AOC also said the MIAA should come up with procedures to evacuate the terminal. – Mike Frialde, Rudy Santos

AIRLINE OPERATORS COUNCIL AUSTRALIAN AGENCY BOHOL AND CEBU CHAIRMAN FRANCIS TOLENTINO EARTHQUAKE INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT MANILA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY METRO MANILA METROPOLITAN MANILA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY MIKE FRIALDE TOLENTINO
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