Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista has ordered the retrofitting of buildings in the city to ensure that they can withstand strong ground shaking after the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) warned of a possible earthquake that may happen following the non-movement of the West Valley Fault System (WVFS) for more than 200 years.
As Quezon City prepares for a possible strong magnitude earthquake because of the WVFS, Mayor Herbert Bautista called for a re-assessment of the structural design of all the buildings and other structures in the city to make necessary refurbishing and upgrading if needed.
As part of the city government’s disaster preparedness program, the Quezon City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (QCDRRMC) conducts a regular planning, evaluation and preparedness seminar/workshop among its members and its technical working group members to regularly orient them on the preparations necessary to meet the zero casualty thrust of the city government.
Recently, QCDRRMC invited Peter Yanev, a structural engineer and a World Bank consultant on disaster risk reduction management, to a discussion on the significance of an extensive assessment on the structural features of all the establishments, especially the high-rise buildings which are less resistant to damages from high-intensity earthquakes.
Yanev said that the country is facing the challenge of retrofitting structures not just to its usual design standards but to a higher standard in preparation for a tremor that can not be predicted yet when it would happen but there remains the probability that it will occur.
Yanev also cautioned QCDRRMC members that detailed risk audit and assessment on all structures are imperative to calculate preventive measures applicable to attain a less damage – no life lost destruction.
Bautista said that “fixing the buildings and other structures is the most probable preparation we can make here in Quezon City.”
QCDRRMC Action Officer and Department of Public Order and Safety Chief Elmo DG. San Diego said that the city is rating each building depending on its distance from the fault and retrofitting it according to its location can somehow mitigate the extensive harm a possible tremor can create. -30- Rico/ Maureen Quinones, PAISO