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Zubiri urges gov’t to conduct national assessment of buildings

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri on Wednesday urged the national government to conduct a nationwide check of the integrity of all infrastructures following two earthquakes that hit the southern Philippine island of Mindanao.

Zubiri said the government agencies that should be tapped for this are the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Department of Interior and Local Government, and the local government units.

“After two deadly earthquakes hitting the island of Mindanao this last three weeks alone, the national government should instruct the NDRRMC together with Phivolcs, DILG, and the LGUs to do a thorough assessment of all the infrastructures within their localities to check if the buildings and homes are still safe for use and if they may still be strengthened for possible earthquakes in the future,” he said in a statement.

He said structures that don't meet the building code should be fortified, otherwise it would be best to strengthened.

Zubiri said there should also be a thorough geo-mapping of geo-hazard areas that are prone to landslides so the communities can be warned if they are located in danger zones.

He said the implementation of the assessment should be mandatory just like what the government did for the Boracay clean-up.

“We must take a more proactive stance so that little or no lives are lost during these times of natural calamities,” he said.

The NDRRMC said at least 394 individuals were wounded while two others have gone missing following the magnitude 6.6 earthquake that jolted several areas in Mindanao on Tuesday morning.

Earlier reports said at least six individuals died following the earthquake and its aftershocks

The agency has clarified that verification is still ongoing to determine the actual number of casualties.

Earlier this month, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake also hit Mindanao resulting in the death of at least five persons and injuries to 53. — MDM, GMA News