Tuesday, November 5, 2013
MANILA-Senator Loren Legarda has called for the assessment of the structural integrity of public infrastructure in the country to ensure that they can withstand a magnitude 8 earthquake, as mandated by law.
Legarda filed Senate Resolution 333, which directs the government to conduct an earthquake risk audit over all government infrastructure projects and buildings.
The resolution also urges the government to mandate the retrofitting of public structures to ensure compliance with the revised National Building Code, which states that all structures and buildings must be able to withstand a magnitude 8 temblor on the Richter Scale.
“The recent devastation that befell Cebu and Bohol when a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the Central Visayas region shows the urgent need to conduct a review of the structural integrity of all building structures and to retrofit them to meet the standards under the Building Code,” she explained.
“The national government should take the lead in promoting the structural soundness and resilience of buildings and structures in order to minimize, if not prevent, damage to persons and property in the event of a strong earthquake,” said Legarda.
The death toll in the Central Visayas earthquake is at 222 and damages have been estimated at P2.257 billion, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).
The Senator noted that the recent Greater Metro Manila Risk Analysis Project conducted by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) and the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), along with other government agencies, revealed that a magnitude 7.2 earthquake along the West Valley Fault could kill 37,054 persons and cause P2.4 trillion in total property damages.
Meanwhile, the Metro Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study (MMEIRS) conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in 2004 revealed that a 7.2-magnitude earthquake in Metro Manila could cause the destruction of 40% of the residential buildings, damage 35% of all public buildings, kill 34,000 people, injure 114,000 individuals, and the ensuing fires could also result in 18,000 additional fatalities.