CHECKLIST: What barangays should prepare for an earthquake

barangay, earthquake

If a 7.2-magnitude earthquake hits your local community, is it ready for the worst-case scenario?

— MANILA, Philippines – If a 7.2-magnitude earthquake hits your local community, is it ready for the worst-case scenario?

Once the West Valley Fault moves, various areas in Metro Manila and nearby provinces are expected to be greatly damaged. The fault moves roughly every 400 years, according to Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) Director Renato Solidum. In the last 1,400 years, it has moved only 4 times.

If this devastating earthquake does happen, Metro Manila could run out of food and water for a week. It could also destroy 40% of buildings, trigger fire in various parts of the city and kill around 35,000 to 40,000 people. Experts say that the “Big One” could happen in this lifetime.

Role of LGUs, local councils during disasters

As indicated in the 1991 Local Government Code, local government units should be at the frontline of emergency measures in the aftermath of disasters. Local officials must lead the delivery of services related to their line of work, particularly during, and in the aftermath of, man-made disasters and natural calamities.

the big one

Here is a list of earthquake preparedness measures provided by the Department of the Interior and local Government (DILG)-National Capital Region for barangays:

  • PREPARE A STATIC WATER TANK
    Each barangay should get at least one static water tank to serve as an alternative water source.
  • IDENTIFY A FOOD WAREHOUSE
    Identify all critical food related establishments in the barangay and enter into a MOA to secure food supply. Moreover, position in advance DOST’s ready-to-eat meals in identified evacuation areas and open spaces.
  • AUDIT AND RETROFIT INFRASTRUCTURE
    Recommend all infrastructure which shall be prioritized for retrofitting and those that may already be condemned. Also, map out all critical roads and structures for necessary action.
  • CHECK FUEL SUPPLY
    Identify critical infrastructure that will greatly need fuel supply, especially their locations and projected fuel demands.
  • CONDUCT TRAINING FOR BASIC LIFE SUPPORT
    Conduct training for at least one family member per household on Basic Life Support – First Aid (BLSFA) and other lifesaving skills to supplement medical first responders.
  • ENSURE RADIO COMMUNICATION SERVICE
    Ensure that the UHF/VHF radio is connected to the city or municipality.
  • UPDATE BARANGAY CENSUS
    Update the registry of barangay inhabitants to allow easier accounting of survivors.

While earthquakes cannot really be predicted, barangays can still reduce the risks and possible damages by proper planning and careful preparation.


– with reports from Kaye Cabal | Rappler.com