With all the strong earthquakes plaguing Nepal, it is not uncommon for Filipinos to worry about a similar scenario happening in the country.
The Philippines sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, a region dotted with active volcanoes and numerous fault lines, therefore, every Filipino has had the experience of at least one major volcanic eruption and earthquakes in their entire lifetime.
Lately, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHILVOLCS) released the "Valley Fault System Atlas," an informative collection of maps depicting the exact location of the two segments of this active fault line.
The West Valley Fault line is 100 kilometers long, traversing the Greater Metro Manila Area's cities of Quezon, Pasig, Marikina, Makati, Taguig and Muntinlupa; and portions of the provinces of Bulacan, Laguna and Cavite. Movement along this fault line may generate a magnitude 7.2 earthquake.
The East Valley Fault is a lot shorter, 10 kilometers in length, and traversing the municipalities of Montalban and San Mateo in Rizal Province. Activity along this fault line may generate a magnitude 6.2 earthquake.
According to the government agency, PHILVOLCS, the Valley Fault System is "ripe for movement" as studies have shown that the fault line shows activity every 400 to 600 years. The last time activity was recorded 357 years ago, in 1658.
Metro Manila is where close to 12 million people live, work and study. The seat of government, commercial districts, residential high rises and countless schools, colleges and universities are concentrated in this area. A magnitude 7.2 earthquake will definitely bring the entire nation to a standstill.
It is a fact that we have no control over the forces of nature, however, what we should have done in the past was better urban planning. Since that cannot be undone at the present time, the best we can do is to prepare for the worst and pray. Pray incessantly.
If you have relatives and friends living in the Metro and would like to find out if their residence or place of work is near or directly above the fault line, click on the links below to find out.
I appreciate this on-going awareness campaign of the PHILVOLCS. I personally believe that this was done not to create paranoia or fear. It is to educate us about the probability of an earthquake and what we can do to survive it.
Keep Calm, Prepare, and Pray.