The Big One: Condo Preparedness Tips During An Earthquake

Aug 06, 2022

According to Philippine authorities, a strong earthquake that occurred on August 4, 2022, left at least five people dead and 130 more hurt in the country's north.

According to the US Geological Survey, the 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck northern Luzon, the nation's most populous island, at 8:43 a.m. The agency initially gave the earthquake a magnitude of 7.1 before lowering it to 7.0. According to USGS, it had an epicenter 10 kilometers deep and about 13 kilometers (km) southeast of the small town of Dolores in the province of Abra. Even Manila, the country's capital, more than 400 kilometers away, was affected.

The West Valley Fault

The Valley Fault System (VFS), commonly referred to as the Marikina Valley Fault System is a right-lateral strike-slip fault system in the Philippines. The West Valley Fault and the East Valley Fault are the two principal sections of the fault. 

Once the West Valley Fault in the Philippines moves, the "Big One," a disaster that scientists predicted, can occur within our lifetimes.The West Valley Fault map runs across the Metro Manila cities of Taguig, Muntinlupa, Paranaque, Quezon City, Pasig, Makati, and Marikina as well as the surrounding provinces of Rizal, Laguna, Cavite, and Bulacan. This disaster is terrifying, especially for those who live in big cities, such as Metro Manila. Metro Manila is usually composed of tall skyscrapers and condominiums. Quezon City has several high buildings, such as a condo in Katipunan, tall BPO towers in Makati, and commercial buildings in Taguig. 

The West Valley Fault map is 100 kilometers long. When this fault moves, these places will suffer a significant deal. And if it occurs, it may cause an earthquake of a magnitude of 7.2, which would greatly devastate Metro Manila's most developed area. 

Are today's high-rise condominiums safe from earthquakes? It is a timely topic that needs to be answered in the wake of the recent earthquakes that struck the Philippines.

The National Structure Code of the Philippines, based on the National Building Code of the Philippines, establishes strict requirements for developers and construction firms to prevent buildings from suffering significant structural damage. This is also to safeguard homeowners in natural disasters like powerful earthquakes. Although the nation has strong building rules created to be resilient to earthquakes of intensity 8, this is no excuse for complacency. 

Here are some earthquake preparedness tips to survive an earthquake inside your condo. 

Create an earthquake preparedness plan.

Talk about potential crisis scenarios and evacuation strategies with your family. Make a floor layout of your house and note the safe areas and exits in each room. If you become separated during an evacuation, have a clear agreement on a meeting location.

Also, prepare yourself and your family with hotline phone numbers to call in for an emergency like a condo earthquake. 

Prepare an emergency kit.

Prepare an emergency kit for everyone in the household or family to utilize if an evacuation is required. At the very least, your emergency pack should have the following items:

  • Drinking water to last for three days
  • Simple-to-make food for three days
  • Whistle
  • Lighting device and batteries
  • First aid kit with prescription drugs
  • Tools with several uses
  • Charger, power bank, and phone
  • Layered clothing
  • Items for personal hygiene and toiletry
  • Ideally, keep a few bills in cash.
  • Essential papers including birth certificates, passports, leases or deeds to condos and other properties, insurance policies, and health records

Duck, Cover, and Hold

During a condo earthquake, keep your cool until the shaking stops. Remember to duck, cover, and hold under a desk or table. Get down on your hands and knees and run beneath the table with the most stability in your condo. Try to calm down, but be aware of any hazards. Always locate a safe place. The next best thing is to choose another safe area if ducking behind heavy furniture is not an option.

Know other possible hazards

Avoid places like your kitchen when you're seeking a secure hiding spot or cover. Several knives, glasses, and other fragile goods can break when they fall. It may be an area that is more likely to cause an accident after an earthquake. Additionally, keep your covering away from glass, windows, and heating and cooling equipment because shaking could short some circuits and, in the worst-case scenario, it can start a fire.

Be patient

Being thrown off balance by a swaying building puts you at risk of falling. Prior to leaving your condo, wait until the shaking stops. Observe any potential aftershocks as well. It's wise to remain on guard because aftershocks can happen seconds, minutes, hours, or even days after the initial big earthquake. Only leave your condo after you are certain it is secure outside.

Administer first aid

See if you, your loved ones, or anybody nearby is hurt as soon as possible. When you can, use your first aid training to help others, and when you can't, call the emergency hotline.

Important Reminders to Condo Residents

Many developers are now making special efforts to make present condos earthquake-resistant due to stricter building rules, wiser designs, and lessons learned from prior disasters. But when the real event happens, it can only do so much. Thus, being aware of the right actions to take and making enough preparations beforehand can ensure your survival.

Several condominium developers have grown more adaptable to the changing circumstances to further strengthen the structural integrity and strength of their condo for-sale properties in the Philippines.

It will be ideal if you choose and own your condominium unit from a reputable real estate company, Vista Residences, with years of experience building homes nationwide. You could be safe in areas included in the west valley fault, so if you're trying to get a condo in Katipunan, Makati, or Pasig, you can ensure your safety if you follow the safety guidelines trust Vista Residences. You can also check out Vista Pointe and Hawthorne Heights in the booming district of Katipunan. This can provide an experience for at ease condo living for you and your family. 

Most importantly, we should also learn from prior calamities that survival depends on planning. Evaluate your condo and identify any hazards or safety features before a disaster strikes. To better protect yourself and loved ones during earthquakes, make a family emergency plan, stock up on supplies, and don't panic.

For more information on Vista Residences, email [email protected], follow @VistaResidencesOfficial on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, or call the Marketing Office at 0999 886 4262 / 0917 582 5167.      

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