MMDA to bring 'earthquake house' to barangays near fault line

MANILA, Philippines – To help the public understand the dangers of a powerful quake, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will bring its mobile earthquake house to residents living in areas near the West Valley Fault.

Starting this week, the MMDA will meet with officials of the 72 villages near the fault line to discuss how to prepare residents in case a powerful quake strikes the metropolis – a scenario experts say is likely to happen within our lifetime.

MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said the agency's mobile earthquake house will make the rounds of the most vulnerable villages to allow residents to experience firsthand what a strong tremor would feel like.

It would also help residents better understand the proper safety procedures after an actual earthquake, Tolentino added.

First unveiled in 2013, the "Shake, Rattle, and Learn House," a hydraulically-operated operated facility which resembles a bungalow, can simulate seismic movement ranging from magnitude 4.0 to 8.0.

The 3 meter-by-6 meter simulator, which can seat up to 10 people, is similar to the one used by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).

The MMDA chairman earlier proposed a metrowide earthquake drill for a more realistic simulation of the effects of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake.

The proposed drill will include shutting down schools, offices, malls, and other establishments, as well as cutting down electricity and communication lines.

Last week, government agencies launched the most detailed and updated map of two major faults within Greater Metro Manila.

Cities and towns traversed by the 100-kilometer West Valley Fault may experience earthquakes of up to magnitude 7.2.

Areas traversed by the shorter 10-kilometer East Valley Fault are due for, at most, a 6.2-magnitude earthquake. (WATCH: Project MOVE: Preparing for earthquakes)

The West Valley fault line transects Quezon City, Marikina, Pasig, Makati, Taguig, and Muntinlupa and the adjoining provinces of Bulacan, Laguna, Rizal, and Cavite. – Rappler.com