PEOPLE never know when an earthquake strikes, but they should familiarize themselves with safety and disaster preparedness measures.
Renewing her call for “heightened” earthquake preparedness, Senator Loren Legarda, an environmentalist, said that the “key to effective disaster prevention is planning.”
More often than not, earthquakes turn into major disasters due to unsafe structures -- poorly built structures in inappropriate places.
According to the highly-articulate and workaholic lady legislator, “we have to ensure that buildings are not standing on active faults.”
Local government units (LGUs), barangay officials and even the ordinary citizens must prepare their communities by determining open spaces for safe refuge when powerful earthquakes occur.
Concerned authorities, she said, must craft evacuation plans that ensure the fastest and easiest way to reach these safe areas.
And the people should prepare for the “Big One” or the projected 7.2 magnitude earthquake in the heavily-populated Metropolitan Manila area, the country’s premier region, said Legarda.
We are made to believe that the “Big One” could destroy 40 percent of residential buildings, damage 35 percent of all public buildings, kill 34,000 people and injure 114,000 others in the metropolis.
The broadcast journalist-turned-senator’s calls for heightened earthquake preparedness should inspire other Filipinos to support regular safety drills in the country.
This, if we are to reduce risks, casualties and damages in the Philippines, which is located in the so-called “Ring of Fire” in the Pacific.