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Earthquakes don't kill people; collapsed buildings do.
Dr. Mario Aurelio, Professor of Geology at the UP National Institute of Geological Sciences, listed the factors that need to be considered in assessing potential damage from an earthquake: distance from the fault, and ground conditions.
In other words, just because you don't live over a fault line doesn't mean you're completely safe.
His explanation is a timely one, given the recent buzz over PHIVOLCS' Valley Fault System Atlas and the ever-looming threat of a high-intensity quake in Metro Manila.
Below is a demonstration by Dr. Aurelio of the effect of high and low frequency earthquakes on different kinds of structures:
Two walls or more
Houses and buildings that have open ground floors have a higher risk of falling apart, Dr. Aurelio said: at least two walls are needed to support the structure of one's home.
Below is a demonstration of how buildings react to the the ground shaking whenever an earthquake hits.
IMReady tip: Put braces on the corners of your home's structure to make it less vulnerable.
High frequency impact on Metro Manila
Dr. Aurelio stressed the fact that areas within a 10km-range from a fault line would experience a high-frequency earthquake—which means that the whole of Metro Manila would be shaking with an intensity of magnitude 6 to 7.
"Pag eto tumama, high frequency yun," Aurelio said. "Kaya nga dun sa Metro Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study (MMEIRS) ang sinasabi, safe ang mga buildings. Yung casualty count nila na 33,000, residential lahat yun." — TJD, GMA News