Phivolcs: West Valley Fault ripe for strong quake

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 15 2015 11:35 PM | Updated as of May 16 2015 08:21 AM

MANILA -- The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Friday once again warned of the possibility of a massive earthquake if the West Valley Fault in Metro Manila moves.

The agency has been warning Filipinos about the possibility of an earthquake in the area as early as 2013.

The 90-kilometer-long fault system passes through various cities and provinces, including Bulacan, Quezon City, Marikina, Pasig, Makati, Taguig. Muntinlupa, Rizal, Cavite, and Laguna.

In an interview on dzMM, Phivolcs director Renato Solidum said people should prepare because the fault line may move sooner than expected.

"Dito sa West Valley Fault, ang kada galaw niya ay 400 to 600 years at ang last niyang gumalaw ay 1658, 357 years ago. So 357 and 400, magkalapit 'yan kasi either gumalaw 'yung fault nang mas maaga or mas later," he added.

Solidum issued the statement after two massive earthquakes hit Nepal, leaving thousands dead.

A magnitude 7.8 earthquake hit Nepal on April 25, followed by a magnitude 7.3 earthquake less than three weeks after.

"'Yung Nepal earthquake, noong April 25, nadiskubre 'yan ng mga geoscientist na ano namin, counterpart, na every 750 years, plus or minus hundred plus years, gumagalaw 'yung fault segment na 'yun at ang huling paggalaw niya ay 1344. So talagang due na 'yung earthquake na 'yun," Solidum said.

He added that the movement in the West Valley fault may cause a 7.2 magnitude earthquake.

Due to this threat, all construction projects should follow the National Building Code to lessen the effects of the earthquake.

"Ang lindol, magpapagalaw ng lupa pero ang building, kung matutumba o masisira o magko-collapse ay depende 'yan kung gano kaganda 'yung disenyo, gano kaayos 'yung materyales na ginamit at gano kaayos 'yung paggawa," Solidum said.

Based on the National Building Code, all buildings should be able to withstand earthquakes between Intensity 8 to Intensity 10.

In 2013, Phivolcs said around 33,500 individuals may die and around 113,600 may be injured if the West Valley Fault moves.