Raise level of preparedness: Phivolcs

MANILA — With the series of strong quakes that struck parts of Mindanao in a span of two weeks this month, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) urges the public to be ready and prepared for such calamities.

In an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Thursday, Department of Science and Technology Undersecretary for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change and Phivolcs Officer-in-Charge Renato Solidum Jr. reminded the public of the do’s and don’ts in times of earthquake.

“The public should review their earthquake preparedness response during and after shaking,” he said.

A magnitude 6.5 earthquake struck at 9:11 a.m. on Thursday, with epicenter in Tulunan, Cotabato. A magnitude 6.6 tremor hit the same area on Tuesday, leaving several persons dead and hundreds injured.

Solidum said the series of earthquakes in Mindanao would not cause a tsunami in the coastal areas since the quake is “far inland.”
When indoors and within a structurally sound building, Phivolcs suggests to (1) Duck under a sturdy desk or table, and hold on to it, or protect your head with your arms; (2) Stay away from glass windows, shelves, cabinets, and other heavy objects; (3) Beware of falling objects. Be alert and keep your eyes open; and (4) If possible, quickly open the door for exit.

“Houses and buildings, especially those with damages, should be inspected if these are still resistant to a strong shaking. The local government units (LGUs) and engineering organizations should have these inspected,” Solidum said.

For those who are outdoors during a quake, the agency suggests to move to an open area and (1) Stay away from trees, power lines, posts, and concrete structures; (2) Move away from steep slopes that may be affected by landslides; (3) If near the shore and feeling an earthquake, especially a strong one, quickly move to higher grounds in anticipation of possible tsunamis.

Those inside a moving vehicle are advised to stop, get out, and not attempt to cross bridges, overpasses, or flyovers that may have been damaged.

Slopes with tension cracks should be avoided or vacated as strong shaking or prolonged rainfall may cause them to slide. Christine Cudis / PNA – northboundasia.com