Earthquake Survival quite literally begins in your own home. To ensure safety against tremors, it’s important to assess your living space to know what types of repair and reinforcement it needs to be quake-resilient.
You can begin your home inspection by examining two major factors: its content and structure.
Securing House Contents
It is important to identify the items that can possibly move, break or fall when a quake jolts your house.
Things to remember:
1. Secure hanging fixtures on the wall and ceiling.
2. Strap down hazardous electrical components.
3. To prevent tipping, heavy and tall objects such as appliances and cabinets must be anchored or braced using a flexible fastener like a nylon strap and a hook.
4. Place the fragile, large and weighty objects on the lower shelves of cabinets.
5. Lock the cabinets if possible.
6. Rearrange large things including framed pictures and mirrors away from seats and beds to prevent injury to occupants when ground shaking occurs.
7. Ensure elastic connector on gas stoves or appliances.
8. Check the accessibility of fire exits.
9. Know when and how to shut off utility lines.
Checking Home Integrity
According to the Metro Manila Earthquake Reduction Study (MMEIRS), 38.3% of residential buildings in Mega Manila might be damaged when the Valley Fault System moves. 339,800 of them will be partly disrupted while 168,300 will be heavily dented. Unlike other hazards, quakes can transpire anytime without warning, bringing secondary dangers such as fire, liquefaction and ground rupture among others.
This study led PHIVOLCS in coming up with a checklist that homeowners can use in assessing how their Concrete Hollow Block (CHB) house will fare in the event of a strong quake. This checklist is applicable to 1- and 2-storey houses, and a must for houses built before 1992 when the earthquake resistance standards were introduced to the Building Code.
Evaluation will be based from the tally of scores from the 12-point checklist:
0 – 7: Assessment is disturbing and needs consultation with experts as soon as possible.
8 – 10: House requires strengthening and expert consultation.
11 – 12: Seems safe but needs confirmation from experts.
PHIVOLCS recommends consulting with a licensed architect or civil engineer and a licensed contractor for official assessments. Aside from further renovation, checking your foundation for cracks must be done whenever there are interferences— natural or manmade— that happened in your area.
Building a Quake Resilient House
1. Have a licensed civil engineer or architect supervise the building of your house to ensure compliance to Building and Structural Codes.
2. Construct a regular-shaped house on a rock or stiff soil. Avoid building structures on muddy and reclaimed lands.
3. Use 6-inch thick concrete hollow blocks.
4. Vertical bars should be 100 mms. in diameter and must only have a 40-cm gap in between.
5. Horizontal bars must be 10 mms. thick and spaced between 3 layers of CHB.
6. Walls more than 3 meters wide have to be reinforced.
7. May need to add more foundation.
8. Use light materials on gable walls. Gable wall is the triangular area that connects the roof and the wall. Or better yet, build a flat roof house.
Lashing with heavy winds and moderate to intense rains, Dodong’s eye passed over Pananapan Point in Sta. Ana, Cagayan 4:45 this afternoon.
The typhoon made landfall, bearing maximum sustained winds of 185 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 220 kph. Once it made contact with the land, it slowed down a bit, moving north northwest at 17 kph.
Based on PAGASA’s latest weather bulletin issued at 5 o’clock in the afternoon, here are the areas under public storm warning signals:
In a press briefing held late afternoon in PAGASA, State Meteorologist Aldczar Aurelio said that after Cagayan, Dodong will head towards the Batanes area in the following hours.
If it maintains its current speed and direction, the typhoon is expected to exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility by Tuesday morning and will continue to move towards Southern Japan.
As for the expected weather conditions in the country tonight, the areas under signal #4 will continue to experience a stormy weather due to the typhoon. The provinces under signal #3 can expect rains with gusty winds. On the other hand, areas under signal #1 and #2 will have light to moderate rain showers. The rest of the country can expect partly cloudy to cloudy skies with localized thunderstorms.
Meanwhile, PAGASA releases a new gale warning over the eastern seaboards of Southern Luzon. These coastal areas will experience strong to gale force winds and rough to very rough sea conditions generated by Typhoon Dodong. All fishermen are advised against sea travel in the following hours.
In other news, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) released an advisory today pertaining to the highly susceptible barangays in Sta. Ana, Baggao and Gonzaga in Cagayan.
Here is the list:
At 10:00 AM today, the center of the typhoon Hagupit was estimated at 1,543 kilometers east of Davao City. Packing winds of 140 kilometers per hour and gustiness of up to 170 kilometers per hour, it maintains its velocity moving west-northwest at 30 kilometers per hour.
If it maintains its speed and direction, it is expected to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) tomorrow, Thursday, and will be given the local name “Ruby”. Upon entering the PAR, the typhoon will bring moderate to occasionally heavy rains over Southern Luzon and Visayas.
In a press briefing held earlier today at the PAGASA Weather and Flood Forecasting Center, two scenarios are still expected to happen. However, most meteorological models show a higher chance of landfall activity.
PAGASA Weather Forecaster Aldczar Aurelio said the first possible outcome is the typhoon making landfall over Eastern Visayas, bringing moderate to occasionally heavy rains. Aside from possible flash floods and landslides, storm surges of up to 3 to 4 meters could also occur.
On the other hand, the second scenario shows that if the high pressure area (HPA) weakens, it will give way for Hagupit to re-curve away from the country, leading to Japan. Everyone is advised to monitor updates regarding the approaching typhoon.
No direct effect yet
Hagupit is still far to directly affect the country. However according to PAGASA Weather Forecaster Glaiza Escullar, the outer cloud band of the typhoon is gradually reaching PAR, bringing cloudy skies with light to moderate rain showers and thunderstorms over Eastern Visayas.
Meanwhile, the northeast monsoon or amihan continues to prevail over Nothern and Central Luzon. Cagayan Valley will have cloudy skies with light rains while the regions of Cordillera, Ilocos and Central Luzon will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated light rains. Metro Manila and the rest of the country will be partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated rain showers or thunderstorms.
Gale warning includes the seaboards of Northern Luzon and the eastern seaboard of Central Luzon. Fishing boats and other small seacraft are prohibited from venturing over the seaboards of Batanes, Calayan, Babuyan, Cagayan, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Isabela and Aurora.
“Hagupit” compared to previous typhoons
Based on the climatological records of PAGASA, Typhoon Camilla (1949), Typhoon Aning (1966) and Typhoon Seniang (2006) have almost the same location where Hagupit would originate as it enters the PAR.