Due to its density, an estimated 23,000 people will perish if the magnitude 6.7 earthquake that struck Surigao del Norte in February happened in Metro Manila.
According to Senator Bam Aquino, around half of that number belong to the so-called informal settlers, whose houses are not structurally sound to withstand strong tremors.
Nine people were killed in the Surigao del Norte quake that occurred last February 10, 2017.
“Kung nangyari sa Metro Manila ang lindol na tumama sa Surigao, nasa 23,000 ang namatay. Ang nakakabahala pa rito, karamihan sa mga iyon ay mga kababayan nating informal settlers,” said Aquino, chairman of the Committee on Science and Technology.
The legislator emphasized that this could be avoided if structures and residential houses will only comply with the Building Code, enabling them to withstand earthquakes of up to magnitude 8 to 9.
“We need to conduct a periodic review of the resiliency of our structures, especially houses, to ensure that it can withstand strong tremors and avoid loss of lives,” the lawmaker said.
The youthful senator called on concerned government agencies and local government units (LGUs) to make sure that buildings, houses and other structures can withstand strong earthquakes.
PHIVOLCS Director Renato Solidum echoed Aquino’s statement, saying he has been pushing for the inspection and periodic evaluation of buildings and houses for resiliency.
If there are fatalities in the accident, the senator is proposing that those accountable for the deaths should be subjected to 2 years and 1 day up to 6 years of prision correctional.