The Philippine Government today launched the Metro Manila Earthquake Contingency Plan or Oplan Metro Yakal Plus and handed over multi-hazard maps to the 17 Cities and 4 provinces of the Greater Metro Manila Area (GMMA) in Novotel Manila, Araneta Center, Quezon City.
The Oplan Metro Yakal Plus is an integrated contingency plan for earthquake and related geological hazards that builds on a previous Oplan Metro Yakal and incorporates data from the updated West Valley Fault System Atlas. It outlines the preparedness and response measures if a 7.2 magnitude earthquake strikes and if there are associated threats of landslides, liquefaction, or tsunami in Metro Manila.
Movement of the West Valley Fault, which traverses various parts of Metro Manila and surrounding provinces, is expected to greatly affect the country since the GMMA region is not only highly populated, it also hosts the seat of government and the country’s business capital. The fault, which has moved 4 times in the last 1,400 years, moves roughly every 400 years. The last major earthquake generated by this fault was in 1658, or 357 years ago, and the next “Big One” may happen in our lifetime.
Metro Manila, during daytime, has a population of roughly 14 million, with a night time population of about 11 million. A magnitude 7.2 earthquake will destroy infrastructure and utilities and cause a potentially huge casualty count in the metropolis.
Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Bill Tweddell said, “Australia is pleased to have supported the Philippine Government in its commitment to provide credible, comprehensive and accurate disaster information and encouraged to make this available and accessible to not only local governments and communities, but also to the private sector, non-government organizations and academe.”
“This is the culmination of a very successful collaborative effort between government agencies through the assistance of our donors, the Australian Government and UNDP,” said Undersecretary Alexander Pama of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). He further highlighted, “the GMMA READY Project has been instrumental in building the capacities and preparedness of the 17 National Capital Region local governments by defining roles of each sector for better coordination and fast relief and rescue operations once a major earthquake strikes.”
UNDP Country Director Titon Mitra underlined the importance of a risk-informed and integrated blueprint for disaster preparedness and response among neighbouring cities/municipalities sharing common risks.
The Oplan Metro Yakal Plus and the multi-hazard maps were developed under the GMMA-READY Project that aims to decrease the vulnerability of communities in the GMMA to natural hazards. The Project also aims to increase resilience by strengthening the institutional capacities of local governments, technical agencies, academic institutions and civil society organizations to manage disaster and climate change risks.
Present at the launch were Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Bill Tweddell, Climate Change Commission Secretary Emmanuel De Guzman, UNDP Philippines Country Director Titon Mitra, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Emerson Carlos, Metro Manila local government executives and technical officers, and members of the Collective Strengthening on Community Awareness on Natural Disasters (CSCAND) agencies composed of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), and the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA).
GMMA Ready is a partnership among the Australian Government, UNDP, the Office of Civil Defense, and the CSCAND agencies. Other partners of the project are the Climate Change Commission, the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board and the Metro Manila Development Authority.
# # #
For inquiries, contact:
GMMA-READY Project –
Australian Embassy – Mariel Eduarte, Public Affairs Manager / Mobile No. +639175332376 / Email: [email protected]
UNDP – Jaclyn Grey, Communications Associate / Mobile No. +639175810495/ Email: [email protected]