A 7.2 magnitude earthquake can kill thousands and injure at least half a million people in the National Capital Region particularly in Metro Manila, according to outgoing defense secretary Norberto Gonzales.
Philippine authorities have been conducting earthquake drills particularly in schools and offices after warnings and reminders were issued by appropriate agencies of government on the possibility of a major earthquake that will shake the Marikina fault line
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Citing a study conducted by the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC), which he also heads, Gonzales said at least 2 million people will be rendered homeless, 500 fire incidents will occur and 400,000 people will need immediate hospitalization.
“At least 400,000 people will need immediate hospitalization once a 7.2-magnitude earthquake hits Metro Manila. It will be a big problem to authorities because there are only 30,000 beds combined in all hospitals all over Metro Manila. We will also need to feed two million people should this disaster came,” Gonzales said.
The grim scenario includes a casualty of at least 3,000 people killed.
“There will be 500 fire incidents to occur. I am not sure if our Fire Brigade can handle that. We are coordinating all over the world for assistance in times of disaster like this. Remember that in a big earthquake like 7.2 magnitude, time is very important. We must all learn how to help. If Metro Manila is hit by big earthquake, the people here cannot help themselves because they are victims themselves. If the other areas is hit by this, let’s learn to help them. It is important that Filipinos learn to help each other,” Gonzales said.
During the past few months and most recently yesterday, Indonesia was rocked by a series of strong earthquakes with some casualties. Other countries in Asia including Japan have likewise experienced strong though not so destructive earthquakes.