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Are we ready? De Lima wants Senate to probe government’s preps for the ‘Big One’

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Senator Leila de Lima has moved to have the Senate conduct an assessment of sorts into the government’s readiness in dealing with the so-called the ‘Big One’, a major earthquake with a magnitude 7.2 to be generated by the West Valley Fault in Metro Manila.

The frequency of earthquakes in various parts of the country the past few days has prompted De Lima to file Senate resolution No. 322, which seeks to direct the appropriate Senate committees to inquire into the country’s preparedness in dealing with such situation.

“There is a need for a holistic assessment and strengthening of the respective capacities of national government agencies, local government units (LGUs) and other stakeholders to mitigate, respond and recover from a potential massive earthquake,” she said.

Reports cited a 2004 study funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) showed that the magnitude 7.2 quake could claim an estimated 34,000 lives and injure up 100,000 others due to collapsed buildings.

“The National Building Code should be revisited and amended to ensure that homeowners and building administrators will upgrade and retrofit their houses or buildings to comply with the minimum requirements provided by the Code,” De Lima said.

The proposed Senate inquiry should also look into the present administration’s implementation of RA 10121 also known as the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010.