By TYRONE A. VELEZ
Davao City — Is Davao City prepared for a magnitude-7 quake?
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) station here said “preparedness of local officials” is crucial as an earthquake of the same magnitude that struck Central Visayas could strike Davao City.
This, as the City Engineering Office (CEO) assured residents that buildings and infrastructure are “stable to withstand such calamities.”
Phivolcs Officer-in-charge of Cagayan de Oro Marcial Labininay, who is currenly stationed in Davao, told Davao Today that officials should be prepared for such disasters as the country lies in “an active earthquake generation area known as the Pacific Ring of Fire” with one Philippine Fault Zone running from Manila to Mati, Davao Oriental.
He also added that climate change has contributed to strong earthquakes as evidenced by recent quakes in Masbate and Negros.
Labininay, though, said no fault line lies within the city, with the nearest one located in the Davao River-Bukidnon area.
“But even as the fault line is not within the city proper, the experience in Bohol shows that a strong quake could still impact the city. Preparedness is still crucial for local officials. Disaster management should be in place, especially for far-flung areas,” said Labininay.
He also advised city officials to strictly implement the Building Code to ensure that buildings are built enough to withstand strong earthquakes.
Phivolcs said no infrastructure would be built within five meters of major fault lines.
Labininay also added that mining activities could contribute to post-quake disasters “such as landslides.”
Meanwhile, CEO chief Engineer Ricardo Reyes said buildings, including recent high-rise in Davao are “okay”.
“On the minimum, we ensure that private engineers of these buildings follow the requirements guided by the National Structural Code and National Building Code,” Reyes said.
Reyes said buildings in Davao “are built to withstand intensity 6 or 7 quakes.”
He added that his office conduct annual checks on buildings, and said recent checks show “minimal problems”.
“If there are problems, we immediately advise owners of buildings to undergo retro-fitting,” Reyes said.(Tyrone A. Velez/ davaotoday.com)disaster preparedness, earthquake