May 8, 2017

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Pampanga braces for the ‘Big One’

CLARK, Pampanga — Public and private sector members of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) and the provincial government convened on Monday to draft an earthquake contingency plan.

The PDRRMC, chaired by Gov. Lilia G. Pineda, organized the three-day workshop after the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) declared that Pampanga and other nearby provinces will not be spared from the effects of the “Big One,” a term that refers to a magnitude 7.2 earthquake to be generated by the West Valley Fault (WVF) which is ripe for movement.

“Pampanga is also at high risk to the effects of Big One and we should prepare for the worst before it strikes,” Angelina Blanco, PDRRMC officer said.

“Should cracks happen on Angat Dam in Norzagaray in Bulacan, coastal Pampanga will likely be a catchment of water,” she warned.

The West VFS stretches more than 100 kilometers through Bulacan, Rizal. Metro Manila, Cavite and Laguna. The East VFS runs 10 kms in Rizal province.

Vice Gov. Dennis Pineda, PDRRMC vice chair, said a contingency plan is vital “to ensure that we are prepared and organized to efficiently and effectively respond when it strikes.”

Blanco explained that the disaster contingency plan is hazard-specific and contains actual mechanisms for responding to earthquakes with a 7.2 magnitude scale.

She said the Office of Civil Defense is helping facilitate the workshops in the planning.

The PDRRMC consists of the Pampanga provincial government, Pampanga River Flood Forecasting and Warning Center, Philippines Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), National Food Authority (NFA), National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Philippine Information Agency (PIA), Land Transportation Office (LTO), Department of Education (DepEd) and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

The council also includes the Association of Barangay Health Workers of Pampanga, Pampanga Association of Water Districts, Pampanga Disaster Response Network, Center for Emergency Aid and Rehabilitation Inc., Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Philippine Red Cross and PAGASA Youth Association.

Meanwhile, the provincial government said it has updated its disaster risk reduction and management plan through workshops last May 2 and 3, and incorporated more climate change mitigation efforts. – (Pampanga PIO)