Baclaran Church readies devotees for earthquake

Baclaran Church readies devotees for earthquake
(This report was first published online by Philstar.com on 29 June 2015. Original version is available in this link.)
 
 
MANILA, Philippines — The Redemptorists of Baclaran on Friday held a forum on earthquake preparedness to ensure safety of thousands of devotees and the church's surrounding communities.
The forum "Talakayan: Valley Fault System" was organized in partnership with non-government organization Assistance and Cooperation for Community Resilience and Development (ACCORD).

(This report was first published online by Philstar.com on 29 June 2015. Original version is available in this link.)
 
 
MANILA, Philippines — The Redemptorists of Baclaran on Friday held a forum on earthquake preparedness to ensure safety of thousands of devotees and the church's surrounding communities.
The forum "Talakayan: Valley Fault System" was organized in partnership with non-government organization Assistance and Cooperation for Community Resilience and Development (ACCORD).
ACCORD executive director, Marieta Lupig Alcid, said the theme "Kung sa piyesta may handa, sa disaster may paghahanda" is appropriate, with the forum held a day before the Baclaran Church's 149th anniversary feast.
The forum which gathered 130 people composed of priests, seminarians, social ministry staff and lay staff strengthens their commitment to start a longer-term disaster risk reduction program that could help them in setting standards for safety during the anticipated magnitude 7.2 earthquake.
During the forum, supervising science research specialist at the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), Joan Salcedo discussed the science behind earthquakes and hazards for ordinary citizens, tips for preliminary safety in their houses, as well as planning for it may result in typhoons and floods.
Salcedo also mentioned that although Baclaran Church is far from the West Valley Fault, they would still experience the same intensity of ground shaking as those nearer it.
"The energy we use to throw a punch is like the earthquake's magnitude, while the feeling after getting punched is similar to its intensity," Salcedo said.
"We need to know where the safe spots in a building are and how to get to them in case of an earthquake. We have to have our contingency plans on paper so that we can easily get them out and execute as needed," she added.
The expert also mentioned that the church's proximity to Manila Bay is another risk factor that can lead to a tsunami up to 3.5 meters in height, in case a magnitude 8.3 earthquake from the Manila Trench strikes.
Bro. Ciriaco Santiago, chairperson of the Redemptorists' Permanent Commission on Social Apostolate, expressed his gratefulness for the forum and participants who attended.
"Knowledge is a big responsibility. The participants gathered here, along with ACCORD and PHIVOLCS, are united in our responsibility to ensure the safety of communities we serve. We will do so by involving them in building our collective resilience against disasters," Santiago said. 
ACCORD is set to work with the Redemptorists over the next few months to implement its extensive disaster risk reduction program and provide trainings in developing a contingency plan in cooperation with the local government offices to assess the church's structural capacity.
To follow up and test the contingency plan, the Baclaran Church is also set to hold an earthquake drill in October in time for the International Day for Risk Reduction as trial for readiness of drill participants.

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