Earth Watch: Predicting the next Big Ones
New research indicates 17 areas around the world that are expected to take a major brunt of tectonic tantrum.
The researchers found the accumulated subduction lengths and the energy being stored were large enough to cause a giant, magnitude-9 class earthquake in 17 areas of the world.
As you can see in the picture, major quakes had already struck roughly 6 areas, some are catastrophic enough to kill thousands of lives, destroy millions of property and fill up world headlines for weeks, even months. Remembering the Sumatra Earthquake, the Chilean Earthquake and the East Japan Quake which triggered the deadly tsunami still send shivers down to our spine.
Here in the Philippines, the destruction during the Great Luzon Earthquake of 1990 and the 1976 Moro Earthquake is still fresh in Filipinos’ minds. Yet some of my countrymen seem to forget that Philippines sits in the Pacific Ring of Fire and that we need to brace ourselves for future tremors. Unarguably, the capital city Metro Manila sits in a dextral strike-slip fault system which extends from North (Rizal) to South (Taguig City) which is called the Marikina Valley Fault System.
Metro Manila Development authority predicts 38,000 will be killed while 100,000, injured once the long-dormant fault is triggered by earth’s tremors. The earthquake is reportedly strong enough to divide Metro Manila in 4 regions.
Apparently, while other cities are gearing up for these major disasters, I fail to see any hint of development or pro-active action plan to reduce the fatality prediction rate here. There are closed-door meetings, natural disaster preparedness summits and earthquake drills conducted on schools and communities but apart from that, there are no concrete and standard structural plan. Buildings and shanties continue to rise above the ticking fault line. Most people are still unaware they are living above one. Scientist groups and weather bureaus lack any major support from the government to properly identify the reach of destruction and enlighten the public about it.
Apart from that, no effort is being done to effectively decentralize Metro Manila, which is now the world’s biggest city in terms of population density and accounts for more than 13% of the population of the Philippines (a whooping 33% of GDP). Take note that it is also the political, economical, cultural. social and educational center of the Philippines. The catastrophe may only be within the zones of Metro Manila but on a larger scale, the whole country will be affected.
I don’t want to sound like a paranoid doomsayer; writing about this is scarier than anything else I’ve written so far. I just want my fellow Filipinos to know that something like this can leave a big damage to our integrity and spirit. We are known as ‘dancers in the rain’, the people who always smile amid the calamity…but this…this is something infinitely bigger than us. God will save those who help themselves and that starts on being aware and being prepared for what will happen, no matter how dark or grim the future holds.
So step up and spread the word. Demand the government of what their plans are in the face of this calamity. If your house sits on a danger zone, listen to the authorities and evacuate as soon as you can to a safer area. Be aware of the news and tell your children or your families the important tips of what they should do so that when the Big One struck, they will know what to do.
After all, ignorance IS never an excuse.
Or you can just migrate to Cebu or Davao just like I’m planning to do.
Posted on October 8, 2013, in My country, reflections and tagged Earthquake, Luzon earthquake, major earthquake Philippines, Manila fault, Marikina Fault line, Metro Manila, West Valley Fault. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.