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NDRRMC: Over 60K fatalities, 120K missing expected in possible 7.2 magnitude quake in NCR

Over 60,000 fatalities and 120,000 missing people are expected if a 7.2- magnitude earthquake hit Metro Manila, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said Thursday.

“Doon sa ganoong pag-aaral din, merong in-assume dyan na merong maaring masawi na mahigit 60,000 na mga mamamayan,” NDRRMC executive director Undersecretary Ariel Nepomuceno said.

(Based on that same study, it is assumed that 60,000 people will die.)

“At ang mga mawawala, ang assumption 120,000 plus. So kulang-kulang 200,00, napakasamang balita po noon,” he added.

(And the assumed missing persons are over 120,000. So it is roughly 200,000, that is really bad news.)

He added that nearly 3,000 buildings and houses are located along a fault.

Nepomuceno made the statement during the NDRRMC’s Second Quarter Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill 2023, which was held at Greenfield District in Mandaluyong City.

The earthquake drill started with the pressing of a button that triggered a loud siren.

Officials from different government agencies practiced the duck, cover, and hold protocol.

Responders immediately cordoned off a damaged house, which was assembled using tarpaulins and steel, and they observed it first for initial assessment.

They also installed timbers to support and brace the establishment to prevent it from totally  collapsing.

Rescuers entered the building where they rescued and extracted some bodies.

Medical tents were also set up into different color-coded stations which represent the severity of the conditions of their patients: from white, green, yellow, red, and black.

The acting victims sustained different injuries on their arms, legs, and other parts of the bodies. Some of them were unconscious while others were screaming and panicking.

Rescuers arrived and attended the bleeding victims with first aid and transferred them to stretchers and wheelchairs.

Firefighters also responded to a fire.

Department of Science and Technology Secretary Renato Solidum Jr. said the West Valley Fault, which is less than a kilometer away from the venue of the drill, is expected to move every 400 to 600 years.

He said the last time Metro Manila experienced the latest “The Big One” was in the late 1600s.

“Posibleng magkaroon ng malakas na lindol sa henerasyon na ito (It is possible that there will be a strong earthquake during this generation.)” he said during the event.

Solidum also pointed out that Filipinos must not be complacent over the possible strong earthquake and should prepare for it.

“Ang mga katagang ‘Bahala na si Batman’, ‘Handa akong makipagsapalaran’, ‘Ipapasadiyos ang kaligtasan’ ay mga linyang karaniwang maririnig sa isang Pilipino,” he said.

(The phrases “It’s up to Batman, ‘I am ready to take risks’, ‘I will just pass it on God are common to hear from a Filipino.)

“Sa mga nagdaang taon, sa mga lumipas na lindol sa Pilipinas, hindi ba dapat, hindi na si Batman kundi ikaw, tayo ang kilos para sa ating kaligtasan?” he added.

(After the past earthquakes that hit the Philippines, Batman should not be the one who will work for our own safety but all of us.) — RSJ, GMA Integrated News