Makati City Mayor Abigail Binay on Wednesday asked residents and stakeholders of the city to remain calm during an earthquake, and follow safety guidelines on what to do during and after a tremor.
Binay made the appeal following an earthquake felt in the city and other areas in the country Tuesday night. The tremor originated in Tingloy, Batangas at 5.4 magnitude with scores of aftershocks, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology or Phivolcs.
“I call on Makatizens to remain calm wherever they may be when an earthquake occurs, especially if the magnitude 7.2 earthquake forecast by experts finally takes place in Metro Manila. The minor quake we felt yesterday should be enough to jolt us into taking these warnings seriously and making the necessary preparations,” she said.
Binay, who chairs the Makati Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, asked residents and other constituents to look up safety guidelines disseminated by the city government through printed posters and brochures, as well as online posts in the city website and social media accounts.
The guidelines state those who are indoors when an earthquake happens are advised to remain inside the building if it is structurally sound.
“Remember to stay away from glass walls or windows, cabinets or tall furniture, and practice the duck, cover and hold maneuver during the shaking. When the shaking stops, leave the house with your 72-hour emergency kit, leave a note on your destination. Do not use elevators,” the guidelines state.
“If one is outdoors during an earthquake, get away from trees, billboards and similar objects and go to an open area. Do the duck, cover and hold in the doorway of the nearest building. If driving, stop by the roadside. Stay inside the vehicle until the shaking stops,” it added.
Binay called on parents to prepare 72-hour emergency kits, which should contain the following: No-cook or easy-to-cook food for three days; drinking water for three days (at 3 liters a day per person); portable cooking ware and can opener; transistor radio with extra batteries; flashlight and mirror; whistle; candle and waterproof match or lighter; clothing and blanket; large plastic mat; raincoat or overhead shelter; durable shoes; dust mask and thick gloves; personal medicine and hygiene items; first aid kit; paper and pencil or crayon; money in waterproof containers; and copy of ID cards and important documents.
“Aside from an emergency kit, each family should have a well-established arrangement on how they could all meet up quickly if they get separated, without relying on cellphones or other means of communication that may be unusable after a strong earthquake,” Binay said.
The mayor also asked residents to familiarize themselves with safe exit routes identified in each of the 33 barangays of the city.
Last March, the city government conducted a series of consultative dialogs with residents of Barangays Comembo, Rizal, Pembo and East Rembo, which are transected by the West Valley Fault.
Binay attended each of the dialogs to personally appeal to affected families to voluntarily relocate before the dreaded “big one” occurs, and offered financial assistance to help them start over.
The city also invited Phivolcs officials to present the hazards faced by each barangay, particularly in areas identified as “danger zones” that are on and within the five-meter radius on each side of the fault line.
Binay said the lots that will be vacated will be cleared of the structures and will be converted into linear parks.
For residents not living within the danger zone, the city government has partnered with Build Change, a non-government organization that will help them in assessment and reinforcement of their house structures.
During emergencies, Makatizens may contact Emergency Hotline 168 (PLDT) of the Makati Command Control & Communication (Makati C3) Center. Other PLDT numbers connecting to 168 include 870-1920, 870-1923, 870-1926, 870-1929, 870-1932, 870-1935, 870-1940, 870-1942. Makati Rescue can be reached at 895-8243 or 899-8928.
Makati is known for being the first local government unit in the country to craft a risk-sensitive land use plan and corresponding zoning ordinance. These development tools earned the approval of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board in 2013.
Meanwhile, Acting Chairman Thomas Orbos of the Metro Manila Development Authority urged the people to participate in the next metro-wide shake drill to inform them what to do in case a big quake hit the National Capital Region.
He said the MMDA will announce the date when will be the next shake drill happen.
At least three golf courses in Metro Manila will be used by the government as evacuation centers in case a powerful earthquake hit the National Capital Region.
Under the initial plan prepared by the MMDA, the Villamor Golf Club in Villamor Air Base in Pasay City, Intramuros Golf Club in Manila and the Veterans Memorial Medical Center Golf Club in Quezon City will be used as evacuation centers in the event a big one hit the NCR.
The golf clubs will also be used as the place for relief distribution, trauma centers, mobile hospitals, training and command post based on the agreement made by the agency and the management of the golf courses.
The MMDA also designated other private establishments and public institutions as operation centers to assist affected residents. These are University of the Philippines campus in Diliman, Quezon City; Light Rail Transit depot in Santolan, Pasig City; Marikina Boys Town, Marikina Red Cross and the University of Life Arena, also in Pasig City.
Pasig River will also serve as an alternate route for rescue and relief personnel in case bridges are destroyed.
Phivolcs earlier warned the public of a massive quake if the Valley Fault System moves. The system is comprised of the 10-kilometer East Valley Fault in Rizal, and the 100-kilometer West Valley Fault, which passes through six Metro Manila cities and parts of the Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal provinces.