With the consolidated mapping activities of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) and efforts by partner-agencies, the Valley Fault System (VFS) Atlas, a handbook of large scale maps showing in detail areas traversed by the Valley Fault System, was finally unveiled on May 18, 2015 at the institute’s auditorium, Quezon City.
It can be recalled that PHIVOLCS’ mapping efforts redefined the location of fault traces and validated previously mapped traces of the VFS.
The atlas was a result of PHIVOLCS’ review of the VFS as one of the component activities of the AusAid-funded GMMA Ready Project under the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and implemented by member agencies of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) back in 2012.
The VFS is an active fault system in the Greater Metro Manila Area (GMMA) with two fault traces: the 10 km long East Valley Fault in Rizal and the 100 km long West Valley Fault runs through different cities and towns of Bulacan, Rizal, Metro Manila, Cavite and Laguna. The West Valley Fault can generate a large earthquake which poses threat to people’s lives, buildings and infrastructures, and livelihood.
Director Renato U. Solidum Jr. of PHIVOLCS said that the location of active faults is a major basis for people’s preparedness for earthquakes, appropriate land use, contingency planning for disaster response, and design of houses, buildings and infrastructures. Future development needs to consider these faults so people won’t be at risk.
Undersecretary Alexander P. Pama, Administrator of Office of Civil Defense (OCD) and Executive Director of NDRRMC emphasized in his keynote message that the atlas is a solid reference in the selection of evacuation centers, safe routes and other risk management items.
“Extensive preparations and proper coordination of actions and sharing of expertise are in order so that we can, as a national team, win this important game in our administration of our duties and responsibilities, not only to your partners and shareholders but to your constituents as well,” he added.
UNDP Country Director Titon Mitra said in his message that it’s not the earthquakes that kill people but the poor planning practices, inadequate preparedness and the lack of application of appropriate building standards.
Chairperson Atty. Francis Tolentino stated in a message that as a partner of the GMMA Ready project, the Metropolitan Meanila Development Authority (MMDA) vows to help in decreasing the vulnerability of GMMA to natural hazards and strengthening its resiliency by managing disaster and climate change risks.
Mayor Herbert Bautista of Quezon City expressed his appreciation upon receiving a copy of the atlas and showed willingness to look into the stability of the city’s infrastructures.
Mayor Reynaldo San Pedro of San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan, officers of Metro Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite and Laguna and project partners from Philippine Atmospheric and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA), Climate Change Commission, Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) also attended the launching and received copies of the material.