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PHIVOLCS, Japan study: Some PH high-rises fail building code shake test

A study conducted by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) and Japan  determined that some high-rise buildings in the country did not meet the requirements of the National Building Code of the Philippines when subjected to earthquake shake tests.

According to a "24 Oras" report by Dano Tingcungco on Thursday, PHIVOLCS together with the Tokyo Institute of Technology surveyed over 100 buildings in Metro Manila and Cebu for their study.

The study aims to help building owners and developer to strengthen existing structures and ensure they are compliant to the building code.

Their findings revealed that the Philippine buildings had longer movements compared to the buildings in Japan.

Some of the high-rise building also shook for longer period during an earthquake than the mandate of the building code, which must be only 0.1 second.

“Nasama na nila sa National Structure Code of the Philippines, 'yung presence of active faults in the country...The nearer you are to an active fault of course, the expected shaking,” said PHIVOLCS director Dr. Teresito Bacolcol.

Bacolcol said there are "engineering interventions" available to fortify high-rise buildings.

"Ganito yung response 'pag far field quake...kapag far field earthquake 'yung mga high rise buildings yung nagse-sway but if it's long period, short period rather, ito yung mas malaking shaking (shorter building)," he said.

“Yung shorter buildings sa Metro Manila malapit sa West Valley Fault, sila magcocollapse. Mga nasa 13%, dito sa high rise, nasa 2% lang,” he added.

The PHIVOLCS chief added that during an earthquake, hazards may also be posed by items inside the houses or buildings.

At least nine people died and more than a thousand more got injured due to the magnitude-7.2 earthquake that hit Taiwan, the strongest in 25 years.

Taiwan's fire department said the number of injured persons had reached 1,038, and put the total number of missing at 48, including 42 hotel workers.—Jiselle Anne Casucian/LDF, GMA Integrated News