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Editorial | The earth moved

We were all jolted at noon yesterday by a quake which we felt lasted for quite some time but was actually only a few seconds. No matter how often we practice duck, cover and hold during simulation drills, the initial reaction is still to bolt towards the door and go out of the building.

Within seconds, Facebook was inundated with ‘linog’ posts, including information on the various sites and the magnitude where the quake was felt. We were waiting for the “marked safe” posts that usually come on the heels of any calamity, natural or manmade, but it seems the app is no longer in style.

There were reports that many people from hotels and schools left the building and gathered outside for fear that the quake will strengthen or the aftershocks will topple structures. As always, we wonder whether going outside or being out in the open would have done more harm than good.

The city suffered a 4 magnitude earthquake with the epicenter, Governor Generoso town, registering a 5.3 magnitude quake. Though we are used to tectonic quakes sitting as we are in the Pacific Ring of Fire, it is still quite unnerving to feel the earth sway, petrified as we are on how it will end or the damage it could bring. This is the reason why the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) urge all of us to check our own homes for structural damages after each quake.

It is necessary to check if there are cracks on the walls and floors or if posts are listing so that these structural anomalies can be repaired as soon as possible. Aside from the structure, leaking gas hose and stoves, and even water lines have to be checked, too.

How prepared are we really for an earthquake? There should be more discussions on this in schools, private institutions and even in communities so that a comprehensive plan can be drawn to save lives, and for the city to be more resilient when catastrophes happen.

Are we ready when disasters strike?

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