Thursday, March 4, 2010

Get Ready for the Worst - Is the Philippines ready?

Nope, I'm not scaring the crap out of you. It's just that the past few quakes are abnormally strong and utterly destructive! Just the other day, a quake rocked the northern part of the Philippines with a magnitude 5.8 to 6.1 quake!

Today, March 4, 2010, A 4.9 earthquake rocked Batanes and another 4.5 quake shook Masbate, Philippines. (read the story just below)

2 Earthquakes hit the Philippines in 1 day

Why? Well, we are a part of an area called the "Pacific Ring of Fire".

The Pacific Ring of Fire (or sometimes just the Ring of Fire) is an area where large numbers of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur in the basin of a Pacific Ocean. In a 40,000 km horseshoe shape, it is associated with a nearly continuous series of oceanic trenches, volcanic arcs, and volcanic belts and/or plate movements. The Ring of Fire has 452 volcanoes and is home to over 75% of the world's active and dormant volcanoes. It is sometimes called the circum-Pacific belt or the circum-Pacific seismic belt.
The pacific ring of fire is where 90% of the world's earthquakes and 80% of the world's strongest earthquake occurs.
The red outline shows where the pacific ring of fire is

Just this morning, a 6.4 earthquake rocked Taiwan. This is just days after the February 28, 2010 8.8 earthquake struck Chile killing nearly a thousand people.

We have not yet mentioned the Magntiude 7 earthquake that nearly obliterated Port Au Prince in Haiti.

So, are we (here in the Philippines) ready for such a big earthquake?

The answer is a big NO! With corrupt government officials managing the government, we could expect substandard everything! Just imagine, a simple fire escape cannot be properly implemented. What more what our eyes can't see?

My guess? just a 7.0 quake and we could more or less end up like Haiti where building codes are non-existent. Our building codes are great. The problem is the implementation part.

Below are the top 10 strongest earthquakes arranged by their intensity (1900s)

Northern China (Dec 16, 1920) 8.6

Indo-China (Aug 15, 1950) 8.6

Japan (Mar 2, 1933) 8.4

Chile (Nov 11, 1922) 8.5

Aleutians (Feb 4, 1965) 8.7

Chile (Feb. 27, 2010) 8.8

Ecuador (Jan 31, 1906) 8.8

Sumatra (Dec. 26, 2004) 9.0

Kamchatka (Nov 4, 1952) 9.0

Aleutians (Mar 9, 1957) 9.1

Alaska (Mar 28, 1964) 9.2

Chile (May 22, 1960) 9.5

Of the 10, 3 of the strongest earthquakes in the world happened in Chile. This is the main reason why their building codes are stricter and their disaster response is hasty. Chile is classified as a 2nd world country and they are actually one step closer to being a 1st world country.

That is the main reason why they are more prepared and their casualties are much less considering the magnitude of the quake that shook them versus the quake that shook Haiti just a month ago. (8.8 Chile vs 7.0 Haiti)

Where do we stand then? In rubbles if we don't prepare ourselves. Since we can't rely on the government, we should prepare ourselves for the worst.

I'm not paranoid. It's just that an ounce of readiness is 100 times better than none.

1. Canned Goods
2. Bottled Water
3. First Aid kit
4. Flash light
5. Swiss knife / Multi-purpose tool
6. Whistle
7. Backpack to carry all above

More tips from US Department of Homeland Security

*Just as I was making this blog, an aftershock hit Taiwan and Chile.

Feel free to add insights and basic necessities by commenting below.

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Jeck said...

That's what I'm really scared of, another earthquake that will strongly hit us. I'm not being paranoid but it can really happen. It's better safe nowadays.

Anonymous said...

do you have any ideas on possible solutions for the said problems (philippines, builctiding codes, constrion, earthquake).??