GenSan to assess if buildings are quake-resistant

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/20 Oct.) – The city government is set to conduct a city-wide inspection of public and private buildings in the wake of the devastation on Tuesday of various structures in Bohol and Cebu provinces following a 7.2-magnitude earthquake in the area.

City Mayor Ronnel Rivera said he has directed the city engineer’s office to evaluate anew the stability of the buildings and determine whether they are firm enough to withstand the impact of any major earthquake that might hit the locality.

He said the inspection team will also check for possible structural flaws and damages as well as recommend remedial measures.

“They will specifically check our schools, public and private offices and other vital structures,” the mayor said in a radio interview.

Rivera said such move was aimed at ensuring the safety of local residents and averting major damages in case earthquakes with the same magnitude as the one that hit the Visayas region on Tuesday will occur in the area.

Bohol and Cebu were rocked by a 7.2-magnitude earthquake at 8:12 a.m. on Tuesday that already left 161 people dead and hundreds others injured.

The temblor, whose epicenter was traced two kilometers southeast of Carmen in Bohol, damaged various structures, among them centuries-old churches that had served as tourist destinations.

The tectonic quake was felt at intensity seven in Bohol, Cebu and Siquijor. It was measured at intensity four in parts of northern Mindanao.

As a result of the incident, Rivera said he saw the need to further strengthen the capability of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO).

“We need to come up with more effective response mechanisms as well as vital equipment needed for emergency situations,” he added.

The city government earlier launched a comprehensive review of the city’s disaster risk reduction and management plan in a bid to make the city’s response mechanisms and related programs more proactive.

Rivera said the move is part of their efforts to come up with specific plans for various types of disaster that might hit or affect the area.

The city government created last year the CDRRMO in compliance with the provisions of Republic Act (RA) 10121 or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010.

RA 10121 also mandated local government units to establish their own DRRM plans and allocate appropriate funds for such purpose. (MindaNews)