Disaster officials warned the country could suffer over 60,000 fatalities and 120,000 people could go missing if a 7.2-magnitude earthquake hits Metro Manila.
During a simultaneous earthquake drill, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said the numbers were based on studies as the country prepares for “the Big One.”
The administrator of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), Undersecretary Ariel Nepomuceno, said nearly 3,000 buildings and houses are located along the fault line.
Officials and employees from different agencies joined in the activity and practiced the duck, cover, and hold protocol.
Department of Science and Technology Secretary Renato Solidum Jr. said that the West Valley Fault is expected to move every 400 to 600 years.
The last time a massive earthquake hit the Philippines was in the late 1600s.
Solidum urged Filipinos to not be complacent over the possibility of the “Big One.”
He said it’s possible that the country will experience a powerful earthquake in this generation, and people should not leave it to God to protect them.