DOST: Davao City should prepare for its own ‘Big One’

Jun. 30, 2017

DUCK, COVER AND HOLD. Students of the University of Mindanao execute the duck, cover, and hold technique – a standard procedure for personal protection during an earthquake. (Paulo C. Rizal/

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The city’s own “Big One” could come in the form of a magnitude 7, intensity 8 earthquake due to its proximity to the Central Davao Fault System, which lies 7.1 km southwest from the center of Davao City, said Department of Science and Technology Undersecretary for Disaster Risk Reduction Renato Solidum, Jr.

Solidum, who is also current chief of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, said that the city, if unprepared for this earthquake, could incur an estimate of 280,000 slight to complete damaged houses and buildings.

Additionally, if the quake occurs at night time, potential fatalities are pegged at 1600, while slight to serious injuries could reach 30,000.

This estimate, Solidum said, is the reason why the city became the pilot site in the region for the National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill held on Thursday.

“So makikita niyo malaking numero ito at dapat mabawasan ito sa pamamagitan ng pag aayos ng mga buhay at gusali, pag-iinspection ng mga building at bahay kung maayos ba ito o hindi, i-condemn yung mga building na mahina at yung mga condemned buildings sisirain na”

(So as you can see, this is a big number that must be reduced through the repair of houses and buildings, their inspection, and if found weak, these structures should be condemned and demolished), Solidum said in the sidelines of the drill held along Bolton Street here.

Solidum said the city is prepared in terms of its capability to respond, but stressed that this in only one half of the equation.

Solidum said the various agencies in the city must coordinate to ensure the integrity of the buildings, and the preparedness of the people to respond to the emergency situation.

The earthquake drill will be assessed by several trained drill evaluators from the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council, who will grade the activity in basically two parts: the efficiency of the responders, and the demonstrated capability of the people to properly execute the evacuation process. (

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