BY ROGER M. BALANZA
Dabawenyos today, June 29, join the Nationwide Earthquake Drill with the specter of the possible return of the killer quake that rocked Davao and killed over 500 people in 1924, looming in the background.
We will create a scenario. How will Davao City react?, said Lyndon Ancajas, Training Officer of the Davao City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO).
Ancajas was speaking about a separate city-wide earthquake and tsunami drill to be held on July 14 and how the Dabawenyos would cope up with the disaster.
At the June 20 edition of the City Hall-organized I-Speak media forum, Ancajas said the local drill would be carried out under a simulated condition of a major earthquake hitting the city.
Statistics show that a major earthquake like the 1924 shocker, has the possibility of returning after about 100 years, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).
Janila B. De Ocampo, Philippine Volcanology and Seismology (Philvocs Region Eleven officer-in-charge said 500 people perished in the April 15, 1924 temblor.
“If you have historical 8.3, then it’s possible to happen again,” De Ocampo said.
Mati in Davao Oriental was the epicenter of the 1924 earthquake.
Phivolcs classifies Magnitude 8 as “very destructive.”
De Ocampo spoke about the Phivolcs statistics and the possible return of the 1924 temblors, during an interview with media two years ago as a major earthquake hit Nepal.
The Magnitude 7.8 quake that shook Nepal on April 25, 2015 killed more than 7,500 people and injured nearly 15,000.
Davao City like Nepal is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, where earthquakes frequently occur.
Ancajas said Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio ordered holding of the July 14 city-wide earthquake and tsunami drill following information from Phivolcs about the discovery of active fault lines in the barangays of Tamugan, New Carmen, Dacudao and Lacson.
The June 29 nationwide earthquake drill aims to prep up government agencies, the public and emergency response units for the “Big One,” a call sign denoting a major earthquake.
In MetroMnila, Phivolcs is keenly monitoring the West Valley Fault, a 90-kilometer-long fault system straddling various cities and provinces, including Bulacan, Quezon City, Marikina, Pasig, Makati, Taguig. Muntinlupa, Rizal, Cavite, and Laguna.
With Pivolcs saying earthquake occurrence statistics showing potential return of a major quake after 100 years, and if the 1924 temblor remembers its last visit in Davao, its return could be but a shake away this year being 2017.
The return of the 1924 Magnitude 8.3 killer quake is Davao City’s “Big One.”