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Legarda Expresses Sympathy to Turkey Quake Victims; Renews Call for PHL’s Earthquake Preparedness

October 24, 2011

SENATOR LOREN LEGARDA TODAY EXPRESSED DEEP SYMPATHY TO THE VICTIMS OF THE 7.2-MAGNITUDE EARTHQUAKE THAT HIT TURKEY ON SUNDAY.
Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change and Committee on Foreign Relations, cited reports that the strong temblor, which was followed by at least seven aftershocks, caused the collapse of 80 buildings in the town of Ercis and the death of at least 138 people.
In this light, the Senator renewed her call for the country’s earthquake preparedness.
“Once again, we witness a disaster strike, reminding us of our vulnerability to high-magnitude earthquakes that remains to be fully addressed. We sympathize with the citizens of Turkey, but as we do this we must also check our country’s preparedness to face disasters. Manila is in fact found to be the city most at risk of earthquake, followed by Jakarta, Yangon in Myanmar, Bangkok, and Ho Chi Minh,” Legarda said.
“We have already been warned of the possible scenario when an earthquake of the same magnitude hits the country, particularly Metro Manila-the destruction of 40% of the residential buildings, damage to 35% of all public buildings, death of 33,500 people, and injury to 113,600 individuals,” she explained.
Legarda said that all buildings in the country should be evaluated for their structural integrity, primarily those medium-rise buildings found to be highly vulnerable. There should also be a regular conduct of fire and earthquake drills particularly in schools and hospitals, as disasters may occur just about any time.
Furthermore, back-up systems of vital utilities-such as electricity and telecommunications equipment-must be in place as these are necessary for speedy recovery and rehabilitation efforts.
“Every time a nation is hit by a great disaster, such as this recent earthquake in Turkey, we are reminded of what we must do to reduce the risks. We must enhance our resiliency to disasters by preparing the citizenry, informing them of what to do before, during, and after a natural hazard strikes because disaster preparedness is a matter of survival,” Legarda concluded.