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PHIVOLCS Warns Homeowners About the Mega-Quake

The course of nature is something we cannot accurately get our arms around. We observe changes in our environment through its implications and patterns we see over a period of time.

On May 15, 2015, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) issued a warning that the West Valley Fault System (WVF) is now ripe and movement is possible. It is possible that a 7.2-magnitude earthquake might hit Metro Manila and its nearby areas.

For safety, one should be aware whether the fault line runs under his property.

The Valley Fault System (VFS) is an active system in the Greater Metro Manila Area (GMMA) with two fault traces: the 10 km long East Valley Fault in Rizal and the 100 km long West Valley Fault runs through different cities and towns of Bulacan, Rizal, Metro Manila, Cavite, and Laguna. According to PHIVOLCS, the WVF can generate a massive earthquake which poses a threat to people’s lives, buildings, infrastructure, and livelihood.

The location of active faults serves as a major basis for everyone’s preparedness for unavoidable earthquakes. It creates awareness on how to appropriately use the land and create contingency plans for disaster response. Consideration in the design of houses, buildings, and infrastructure should be given more attention also. Future development needs to consider these faults. Moreover, if you are planning to invest in a property, make sure that what you will buy is built to endure earthquakes.


west valley fault system map
The West Valley Fault Map. Source: abs-cbnnews.com


PHIVOLCS launched and distributed to local government officials the Valley Fault System Atlas on May 18, 2015, at the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology Building in Quezon City. It is a handbook of large scale maps showing in details the areas traversed by the VFS.

The Atlas was conceptualized as a reference to serving as a guide to make sure that areas traversed by active faults are avoided as sites of houses and structures. According to Renato U. Solidum Jr., PHIVOLCS Director, it was written in a user-friendly way so that everyone can check their proximity to the fault and coordinate with their local governments on disaster preparedness measures.

“Through the publication of this Atlas, which specifies the position and location of the Valley Fault System in GMMA, we have taken a leap forward to reducing risk from earthquake.” National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Executive Director Undersecretary Alexander P. Pama said.

The possibility of an earthquake produces a threat not only to infrastructures, buildings, and livelihood in the country, but it implies a greater threat to the lives of every Filipino. Thus, if you are planning to purchase a house, consideration of its location and how it is built are important.

Are you living in or near the Valley Fault System? How are you preparing? Share it with us in the comments section.

Watch out for our next article to know if your home is earthquake-ready.


reference: http://www.phivolcs.dost.gov.ph/

cover photo: http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/MSNBC/Components/Photo/_new/pb-120207-philippines-earthquake-nj-04.jpg

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