Phivolcs: ‘prioritize disaster preparedness’

Department of Science and Technology Undersecretary and Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) Executive Director Dr. Renato Solidum has urged the Cabuyao officials and constituents to be always prepared as their Barangay Casile sits atop the active West Valley Fault System.

Solidum was the main resource speaker at the National Disaster Resilience Month observance of the city with the theme “4Ks: Kamalayan sa Kahandaan, Katumbas ay Kaligtasan” on Friday.

Solidum elaborated how Cabuyao can likely be affected by the “Big One” and why disaster preparedness is important.

He called on officials and constituents to identify areas that can possibly be affected by 7.2 magnitude quake while referring to the July 6 strong tremor that hit Ormoc City and parts of Leyte and also in Batangas last April.

“It is vital in the proper planning for the earthquake disaster to make risk assessment by classifying the possible damages like buildings and other structures and to determine possible injured victims and casualties,” Solidum said.

He urged city officials, disaster managers, village executives, the academe, private sectors and all stakeholders to convince the communities here to prioritize disaster preparedness to save lives and properties.

According to the Phivolcs chief, the Philippines ranks third among countries prone to natural hazards and vulnerable to earthquake, tsunami, volcanic eruption, typhoon, storm surge, flood and landslide.

“We provide you science-based hazard and risk scenarios for extreme and large scale events and by using science we should make community safer,” Solidum added.

He explained that a large earthquake from the West Valley Fault can significantly affect Metro Manila and surrounding provinces like Laguna hence the need to understand and appreciate the hazards and risks to prepare and respond to it appropriately.

“A whole of society approach is needed to prepare for the “Big One”, every organization must have a business/service continuity plan, prepare not to be severely affected, prepare that you can operate immediately and be able to respond and every family must prepare, every member must know what to during and after an earthquake,” he stressed.(Robert Maico/PNA)