MANILA - A metro-wide earthquake drill will be held on July 30 as part of the government’s preparations for a possible 7.2 magnitude tremor, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said yesterday.
Electricity and mobile phone services would be cut throughout the metropolis. All private and government offices as well as businesses, including shopping malls would be closed between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. to simulate the scenario of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has warned that an earthquake of that magnitude could occur and kill at least 33,500 people and injure at least 113,600 others following a movement in the West Valley Fault.
The 100-kilometer West Valley Fault transects 42 barangays in Quezon City, Marikina, Pasig, Makati, Taguig, Muntinlupa and 30 barangays in Bulacan, Laguna and Cavite.
Earlier, MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino submitted a draft executive order to Malacañang calling for the conduct of a metro-wide earthquake drill.
The MMDA will hold a meeting with the 17 mayors in Metro Manila on June 2 to discuss preparations for the drill, Tolentino said.
“It should be held daytime and nighttime,” he said.
Tolentino said massive traffic jams would also be simulated as traffic lights would not function during the drill.
He said emergency responders and ambulances would be on standby.
The MMDA will also hold a rescue olympics on June 2 to assess the efficiency of rescue teams of local government units.
MMDA officials will meet today with the leaders of 84 barangays located along the path of the West Valley and East Valley Faults.
Tolentino said contingency measures at the barangay level would be discussed during the meeting.
On June 3, Tolentino said the agency would conduct a simulated deployment of MMDA personnel under “Oplan Metro Yakal,” the agency’s action plan in the aftermath of a strong quake.
Under Oplan Metro Yakal, some 6,000 MMDA employees and volunteers would be mobilized.
During the simulation, the MMDA would set up evacuation sites at the Villamor Air Base golf course, Veterans Hospital golf course and at the Intramuros golf course.
The MMDA would lend its earthquake simulation house to the barangays projected to be affected by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake.
“We will go around the barangays near the West Valley Fault to demonstrate a 6.9 and 7.2 quake to the residents,” Tolentino said.
On a scale of one to 10, Tolentino placed at 4.5 the level of awareness and readiness of Metro Manila residents.
He said residents of the barangays located along the path of the West Valley and East Valley Faults should be briefed on earthquake preparations.
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